The primary purpose of a portal solution is to create a gateway for your customers or business partners to have a full self-service experience. Typically, this will include integration into your Dynamics 365 solution and enable external parties access to the following:
- Accounts, orders and contracts
- Financial operations
- Knowledge base articles
- Forums and blogs
- Cases and support team members
- Jobs, resources and various types of scheduling
- Customer feedback surveys
- Alerts and notifications
When selecting a portal solution to connect to your Dynamics 365 environment there are two key choices that include the Microsoft Dynamics Portals solution and the XRM Portal Community Edition.
Key considerations when selecting one of these technologies include:
Microsoft Dynamics Portals
- Only available as a cloud service
- One environment is free if you have over 5 professional users
- $500 USD per month for each additional environment
- Enhanced by Microsoft on an annual bases
- Limited extensibility
- Availability and backups are guaranteed by Microsoft
- Recommended for companies with minimal technical capabilities
XRM Portal Community Edition
- Can be implemented as a cloud service or on premises
- Free and Open source
- Unlimited extensibility
- Limited documentation or technical support
- Enhanced and updated by a portal community
- More control over security, performance and availability
- Recommended for companies with advanced technical capabilities
In conclusion, there are tremendous benefits to implementing a portal solution and enabling your partners and customers access to data within your Dynamics 365 environment. However, when selecting portal technology, companies need to define the business benefits and determine how much control they will want when it comes to managing and extending their portal solution.
Stay tuned for more portal and Dynamics 365 information and contact us if you have any questions!
Happy Dynamics 365 Portal'ing!