As you may or may not know, Microsoft acquired ADX Studios, a web portal provider, late last year. Since then, they’ve been working hard to integrate portals as an add-on service for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Their endeavor has proven to be successful, so customers can now choose a portal add-on that integrates seamlessly with Dynamics CRM Online.
Being that web self-service is now the most popular way for customers to make sure their voice is heard, we set out on a mission to see if we could activate a trial of the portal add-on in one of our test CRM environments. And guess what? We can! Luckily for you, we’ve documented our experience in six steps so that you too can give it a try.
Step 1: Request a Trial
The first step to adding a trial of the portal add-on to any CRM instance is to request a trial. Navigate here to request a portal trial.
Step 2: Wait for the Email
Now you just need to wait for your portal trial activation to be emailed to you. For us, it took about half a day before we received the email below. Click on the Activate link in the email and sign in with your Office 365 username and password. In order to complete the next steps, you should be a global admin in your Office 365.
Step 3: Configure the Portal
Not too bad so far, right? The next thing you’ll do is configure the basics of your portal. To do this, navigate to the Office 365 Admin Center and click on CRM. In the CRM Online Administration Center, you’ll see an “Applications” area, which will have the newly activated Portal Add-on listed under it. Click Manage.
Step 4: Name That Sucker
This is where things start to get exciting! Under the general settings, you can choose the name of your portal, the URL (which it clearly states can be updated with a verified domain after the portal is provisioned), the language, and lots of other things.
Two things you’ll want to pay extra close attention to is the Portal Audience and the type of portal you’re deploying. These will decide what is imported into your CRM system, and what template is originally used when provisioning your portal. We’ve decided to go with the most popular type of portal – a customer self-service portal. After you’ve filled everything in to your satisfaction, click on Submit.
You’ll have to agree to some basic terms of service with Microsoft, and grant Microsoft CRM Portals permissions to access what it needs to, but after you’ve agreed to those things, your portal will begin being provisioned!
Step 5: Access Granted
After a few hours, you’ll be able to access the portal. How, you ask? Navigate back to your CRM Admin center, click on the Applications area again, and click Manage. Under the portal details, you’ll see your Base Portal URL. Exciting, right?
If you navigate to that portal URL, you’ll see the template that’s been spun up for you. Pretty fancy for not having done any customizing yet, we’d say!
Step 6: Finish Things Up
Chances are, you don’t want to leave all of the defaults on the portal template. Lucky for you, all of the pieces to help you manage your portal have now been placed inside of your CRM system. There’s a new “Portals” tile in your navigation, and boy is there a lot to customize!
Now you can explore your way through all of the different areas of the portal to set everything up and customize it yourself! However, if you’re looking for a little bit of help along the way, reach out to PowerObjects. We’ve got experts that can help you get a useful, integrated portal set up, with minimal investment.
Contact us if you’re interested in learning how we can help.
Happy CRM Portal’ing!