Microsoft Dynamics CRM portals are yet another way you can extend CRM. In this chapter, we’ll explore several portal options and considerations, including:
- What is a portal?
- Why use portals?
- Identifying portal needs
- Portal Design
- Data Structure
- Portal Architecture
A portal is an independently running application that exposes specific CRM data and functionality to the expected users. It can be leveraged to model business processes that aren’t easily modeled inside CRM or to provide a higher level of integration between your CRM and your clients. Users can range from full CRM users to external clients with minimal rights and access.
A portal is an opportunity to extend the functionality of CRM and leverage its integration potential. Portals are frequently an important and necessary implementation for organizations or businesses that want direct input and interaction with their clients. Below, we’ll highlight some common examples of why portals are developed.
Here are some examples of when to use a portal:
- When external users need to create data in CRM, like support cases, orders or custom data.
- When external users need to view CRM data, like commission or revenues for vendors, product information and knowledge base articles.
- When external users need to update data in CRM, like user profile data when that individual has moved.
Below are two screenshots that show examples where a user creates a case through a Microsoft Dynamics CRM portal.
CRM Case Form
Corresponding Portal Case Form
The next section covers how to identify the needs of your organization when considering a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Portal.