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I am keen on learning how to create a customer portal because my company is recently proposing a project to engage with our clients more.

We are a company that provides canopy cleaning and building services in hospitality industry. We have hundreds of customers who are contacting me everyday to ask for Insurance certificate, servicing date other information. I would be nice if they can log-on to the portal using their Self-Managed login and download the insurance cert (shared by us), changing their email or phone as well as accessing other information.

Our needs at this moment are very basic, just as stated above. However I am not sure which option I should go regarding building a Customer Portal. I have read heaps of article about this but could not come to a solution.

So my questions are:

  1. We have a developer and a BA in our company, can we build the portal on our own through the API provided by Salesforce? We can take care of hosting, designing and coding?

  2. If it is possible, then what high level steps are the steps involved?

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  • added some more to my answer. As you r question is open-ended, I suggest you get started and then post additional questions on narrower points where you get stuck.
    – cropredy
    Mar 6, 2018 at 22:27

1 Answer 1

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Three options

  1. License SFDC Customer Community. This will include OOTB website for customers to interact including ability to see KB articles, file cases, view resources, etc. Contact your SFDC Account rep for a demo/pricing
  2. Connect an existing website to SFDC Service Cloud (typically) via SFDC APIs including Web2Case plus all OOTB REST APIs to create/update/delete/view any object (all controlled by permissions of course)
  3. License a third party customer portal that has built-in integrations to SFDC Service Cloud. Google for these and evaluate accordingly (for example - Magentrix). I have no particular experience with these so can't recommend any.

As for option 2, which you seem to prefer, you asked:

We have a developer and a BA in our company, can we build the portal on our own through the API provided by Salesforce? We can take care of hosting, designing and coding?

YES - this is certainly within the realm of a 1 dev project

If it is possible, then what high level steps are the steps involved?

Read the doc on the REST API. You most likely will use one headless user license on Salesforce that your portal will use for authentication. This user's profile+permission sets will control access to only the data you want the portal to have. Your portal code can do SOQL queries on objects (like Contact) and then do REST PATCH calls to update email/phone#. Similarly, for the insurance cert, depending on where you have saved that document in Salesforce. As you get into the project, use SFSE to post additional questions on particular roadblocks, including code that is not working as you expect.

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  • Hi, thank you so much for putting much effort in answering my question. I really appreciate that. I will get started as soon as I can then I would post questions if I get stuck. Cheers!
    – Long Trieu
    Mar 7, 2018 at 22:00

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