Dynamics 365 Portal – A Quick Introduction Before Our Journey

The Background 

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portal was formerly known as ADX Studio Portal. The Canada-based Adxstudio team had been building web portals for customer relationship management software since 1998. 

Back then, it was an asp.net web site which surfaced the Organization Dynamics CRM data – online or On-premise. It could be hosted on any server and could be completely Customized, Branded and Integrated. 

Microsoft Acquisition 

Adxstudio was acquired by Microsoft in 2015. In its GA release in Spring 2016 from Microsoft, the Portal was available as a fully Microsoft – managed Dynamics 365 add-on only. Until August 2018, Microsoft continued supporting the legacy ADX Studio Portal product, however, since then, all formal support for the old product has been discontinued. 

Dynamics 365 Portal– today 

The product, Dynamics 365 Portal, in its new form has its on-premise footprint completely wiped out – it is now available to only the Dynamics 365 instances in the cloud. [Recently, Microsoft has released source code to create a framework for on-premise portal deployments – albeit this isn’t officially supported ] While an organization can host multiple portals drawing data from its Dynamics 365 instance – the relation is strictly N:1 – Portals could now access CRM data only in the same Office 365 tenant.  

Implementing customizations via Server-side codes is no longer possible. JavaScript and “Liquid” have become the chosen tools to extend this Microsoft product. Originally released in its 8.1 version, the product is today available as 9.1.5 

License, in brief 

Users: 

Organization employees and partners, depending on their CRM activities from the portal need the correct license – Full or Team. 

  • Organization: 

Effective October 2018, every Organization with 10 Dynamics 365 Enterprise subscriptions has one Portal already available for use. Any additional portal instance required is available at a cost – including any Sandbox or Test tenants 

  • Multiplexing: [Indirect] 

Internal users and devices accessing Dynamics 365 data indirectly through a portal or via an API to a separate service such Microsoft Outlook must be properly licensed 

Capacity in a nutshell 

  • Page Views: The Portal includes 1 million-page view 
  • Common Data Service Database: 10GB
  • Common Data Service File Capacity: 5MB- 32 MB/ file
  • Common Data Service Log Capacity: 2 GB 

Audience and Portal Types 

While each of the portal types can be configured to cater to multiple audience groups, pre-configured Portal templates are available for Partners, Customers and Employees separately [ Employees will require proper CRM licenses to access Portals data] 

Partner 

  • Customer Self Service Portal
  • Custom Portal
  • Partner Portal
  • Partner Project Service (Optional, requires solutions installed)
  • Partner Field Service (Optional, requires solutions installed)
  • Community Portal 

Customer 

  • Customer Self Service Portal 
  • Custom Portal 
  • Community Portal 

Employee 

  • Employee Self Service Portal 

Authentication 

Available authentication types 

  • Forms Authentication 
  • Windows Authentication
  • Windows Live ID Authentication
  • Windows Azure Authentication 

Security 

Roles for the Portal User are defined within Dynamics 365. Permissions and data access use the same processes as used for CRM user roles. 

Conclusion 

While there is enough to write pages on each of the items in the bullet above, hopefully, the above data points and references have given you an overall premise of Dynamics 365 portals, scattered in various documents and blogs in a nutshell.

Coming up 

With this background, we will in the next blog, in this series, delve into the When and Why of the Dynamics 365 Portals. 

What is the right time to invest in Dynamics 365 Portals and some strong Pros and Cons to help you decide

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