I am working with a customer who has several pre-existing partner & customer portals live on their SFDC instance, as well as a few Sites. They do not want anything to change in these, but they want to add a new Communities instance. They currently do not use Communities.

Are there any gotchas/limitations/changes when you activate Communities in an instance with pre-existing portals? (Including changes to Salesforce license provisioning or costing for the "legacy" licenses, overlap of profiles, etc.)

The official Communities migration document states:

After setting up a community, you can continue to use your partner portal or Customer Portal. Changes to community settings are completely separate from portal settings and have no impact on your existing portal setup.

Which appears to be saying "no", but I want to make extra sure that there aren't any issues (including SFDC policy issues) that I'm missing. Please let me know if you have been through a scenario like this, and if you ran into any issues.

EDIT: the email response from the local SFDC rep was "Customer Community will not affect the existing Partner Portals, Customer Portals, or Sites."

  • 2
    Not an 'official' answer but everything I've seen and read about this suggests that it's safe to go ahead with this. AFAIK what you can't do is create new portals.
    – Matt Lacey
    Jan 17, 2014 at 3:19

2 Answers 2


We recently had a conversation with Salesforce regarding this and were informed that the Portal system works in tangent with the Communities system without issue and that there was no effect on licensing for existing users.

We have yet to run into any gotchas (not to say there aren't any) but the systems are treated as separate as per the documentation.

  • 1
    Can you comment on @Bartley's statement that you can't do "further dev" on existing portals after adding Communities? It's hearsay from SFDC, and seems unlikely to me, but would obviously be a big issue if true.
    – jkraybill
    Jan 20, 2014 at 22:39
  • I am afraid I can't provide any further info on this exact point - have you tried doing a portal in a dev org then enabling communities to see what happens?
    – pbattisson
    Jan 21, 2014 at 7:56

I understand, from speaking to SFDC directly, that it is fine EXCEPT that any further dev you do is only available on communities and you won't be able to developer your existing portal any more.

  • Are you sure?! Like you can't write triggers/VF/Apex? I'm very skeptical of this, simply because I don't see how this would possibly be enforced at the platform level. There is no way currently to partition code among the various front-ends that your org has. Can you clarify this, or can someone else comment? This would obviously be a showstopper, but I don't believe it would be possible.
    – jkraybill
    Jan 20, 2014 at 22:37

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