Deep Dive Into Add-On Portals In Dynamics CRM

The Article covers Add-On Portals in brief with an overview to the functionalities and structure of Portals

Brief Introduction

Dynamics CRM is an enterprise-level application wherein we store information of a prospective client and existing customers and the same is available to the system users based upon the roles and permissions.

Microsoft charges for every license we buy, on per month basis. Now, let’s say we need a system where the end users, including the prospected client and existing customer, need to have access to the information which has been entered in the system primarily for validation of data, something like, you have a login and password to check your loan history etc. So, if the company needs to give this access, they have the following ways.
  • Add user license for each customer – let’s say you have 10,000 customers. Then, it’s not feasible at all to pay to Microsoft every month for this requirement.

  • Creating a .NET Website – Yes, it was the approach which has been followed so far wherein a separate database was created to store the customer information, login credentials, and data. Again, this is something we need to copy data from CRM on regular intervals and sync the databases. Also, here, we need to recreate the same functionality again and again, including user training and much more.

  • Add-On Portal – It’s been offered to you as a well-integrated system by Microsoft to fulfill your requirement to give access of the data to end users, with no licenses and no data redundancy and no re-development of assets. It is a pure replica of your existing functionality including plugins, workflows, JavaScripts, forms, and all such functionality.

Features of Add-On Portals

  1. Add-On Portal is a cloud-based solution offered by Microsoft as an add-on to the existing set up on Dynamics CRM which is hosted on the cloud.

  2. The licenses of setting up Add-On Portal are offered free of cost by Microsoft with licenses of Dynamics CRM and it is charged based on the number of views.

  3. The portal comes with inbuilt templates supporting basic functionalities like -

    1. Login for Contacts and Accounts
    2. Profile Visibility
    3. Access to cases with permission to create
    4. Access to cases with permission to update
    5. Access to Knowledge Articles
    6. Access to Blogs

  4. One need not redevelop anything; what we have in Dynamics CRM, just needs to be configured in the add-on Portal and the concepts and business logic will be carried forward to the portal at its own.

    1. Plugins
    2. Workflows
    3. Actions
    4. Business Rules

  5. The portal has its own security model which needs to be configured and implemented as per the business requirement. This security model is entirely different from that of Dynamics CRM as it is implemented over Contacts and Accounts rather than on System Users.

  6. The portal comes preconfigured with multiple templates which act as Master Pages for the website and yes, definitely one can redevelop and recreate the Web Templates as per the requirement.

  7. Portal comes with multiple functionalities including integration with LinkedIn, Azure AD, and Facebook, and supports custom JavaScript and jQuery.

  8. The best feature of the portal is the responsive User Interface which comes as a built-in feature and the power comes in through the BOOTSTRAP framework which has been coupled to build this amazing offering.

  9. The portal comes in pre-configured with the theme. Along with it comes the flexibility to reconfigure this theme, or one can download new themes from multiple portals and can upload the same.

Basic Structure of Portal

Add-On Portals