I've been searching online for answers surrounding the Customer Portal / Authenticated Website / High Volume Licenses of Salesforce.com. I didn't find much information on licensing or the technologies, except for these links:

Understanding User License Types: http://na14.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/users_understanding_license_types.htm

About Customer Portal User Management: http://eu1.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/customer_portal_manage_users.htm

I'm looking to build a Website on the Force.com platform (App Setup > Develop > Sites) using a custom interface using Visualforce and Apex classes, where users are allowed to login/register and make specific request through the custom UI (read/write records, create tasks and more). This will mainly be used with Custom objects.

What are the most affordable solutions for achieving something similar that will reliably serve ~10-50k customers? What would be the estimated costs? I ask about costs since the pricing for Customer portal licences does not seem to be openly available.


  • Cost is not always the same, best to discuss that aspect with your Salesforce rep. Commented Apr 29, 2013 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


I think the main difference is the licensing model.

Authenticated sites costs are based on monthly logins (same customer logging on 10x/day is bad). We use this one because you can have a LOT of infrequent users.

The customer portal licenses are based on user count.

There are some sharing rules and object access differences, too. One sucky example on auth sites is that users can't update their account directly without a custom page plus wrapper class.

Definitely tell your account rep what you're trying to do and think about what scaling would look like...that is, how to scale customers without scaling costs.

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