I'm creating a community for our customers who will be in our system as accounts/contacts. I want to add them to the community by adding the community to a permission set, and then assigning the permission set to all current and new accounts we get.

I can find information on how to assign permission sets to users (internal Salesforce users), but not our customers/contacts.

Any advice or resources would be appreciated.


I tried to reset the password of my newly created user but I got the following error: Change Password Error

I'm guessing I incorrectly assigned the user to a community or I didn't at all. I had assumed that after getting a password in their email, they could login to the community that I created.


To create the Customers as Community Users you would not normally need to use a permission set as you have to have profiles created for the community users and assign that profile to the Community. It is possible if you have multiple communities to use a permission set rather than the community user profile, but if you only want to have a single community it is easier to do it from the profiles.

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Then the users need to be created from the Contact records, this can be done manually from the individual contact records. Once enabled these users can be added to a permission set for their profile type as normal, e.g. Customer Community or Customer Community Plus.

To enable a community user from the Contact select Manage External user and then enable customer user. This takes you to the user creation page where you can enter their details, as per the next two pictures.

enter image description here

The role is not available on community user licences and is defaulted in on the customer community plus licences. The Profile has to be for the specific licence type and needs to be included in the community profiles. Once these users have been created then it is possible to assign them to a permission set but that may not be necessary as explained previously.

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See also Salesforce documentation on provisioning communities users.

  • Thank you. This line in the link you provided is tripping me up. Create a user record from the contact and assign a user profile that has access to your communities. In my mind, users are internal employees that have a salesforce license. Here though, it makes it sound like an account holds a contact (or multiple), and a contact holds a user. That right there is misleading for me. Is there a difference between community users and employee users that have licenses?
    – qarthandso
    Nov 5 '16 at 17:39
  • Customers do have accounts on Salesforce but they are not full Salesforce licences they would be one of the community specific licence types, e.g. Customer Community, while employee users would normally be on Salesforce licences.
    – Dave Humm
    Nov 5 '16 at 19:49
  • Could you elaborate on Then the users need to be created from the Contact records, this can be done manually from the individual contact records. This is exactly what I'm trying to do; map contacts to users in community cloud.
    – qarthandso
    Nov 6 '16 at 19:31
  • I've edited in how this is done, the users are not created individually but directly from the User management screens.
    – Dave Humm
    Nov 6 '16 at 20:29
  • Your help is seriously appreciated. I did all the required steps. Is there a way to manually send the newly activated contact/user login credentials for the community portal login?
    – qarthandso
    Nov 6 '16 at 21:27

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