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mekingmeking 

Converting Existing Customer Portal into Force.com Site

Hello,

 

The company I work for has been utilizing the built in Customer Portal for the last few years. This means they are using out of the box templates and we don't have much creative control over the portal. I was told that in order to customize the portal however we want we have to pair it with Force.com sites. I have walked through this tutorial:

 

http://wiki.developerforce.com/index.php/Authenticating_Users_on_Force.com_Sites

 

But I am still not seeing how to fully convert an already exsiting Customer Portal to a Force.com site where we will have creative control using Visual Force. Also I was informed that by doing this we will loose a lot of the built in permissions that we have setup in Profiles. For example if we have Profile A that can only see the tab "Solutions" but then Profile B can see tabs "Solutions and Ideas", I would have to recreate this using Apex if I want to completely restructure the site using Visual Force.

 

To put this in a nutshell I am not looking to take a public Force.com Site and add a level of authentication, I am looking to take a Customer Portal and completely take control of the creative/design so we can brand the look and feel. However this is done, I want to do it. However I was told Force.com sites is the way to do this. And if it can be done how does it affect existing Profiles?

 

Could anyone steer me in the right direction? Or is there anyone who has ever taken an existing Customer Portal and full customized it? How did you do it? Any assistance would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

 

Best Answer chosen by Admin (Salesforce Developers) 
EIE50EIE50

For example, if you have a tab called ideas in your out of box customer portal and now you want to customize the portal - then write custom controller on ideas and display the ideas data using VF pages. Give all your custom sytlings (CSS) in your VF pages. Once you control your navigation between your newly designed VF pages, you no longer need to worry about out of box portal look and feel.

 

There isn't any specific documentation available for this part, but if you need any help on apex and VF, you can post your problems under apex and Vf disucssion borads. The community is really helpful.

 

Thanks.

All Answers

EIE50EIE50

Hi,

 

With the help of visualforce and apex you will be able to get a fully branded customer portal and you have to edit associated profiles to grant required permissions (apex classes, visualforce pages, vf tabs,etc.,.). You necessarily need not use force.com sites unless you want to expose data to the public.

 

All i can say is - 100% customization (coding) is required.

 

Thanks.

mekingmeking

Thanks for the prompt reply. That makes sense that I wouldn't have to use Force.com sites to customize the portal. However in my search for this solution I haven't come across any good documentation on how to customize the portal with Apex and Visualforce, what is the starting point?

 

Whether I am creating a new one or looking at an existing Portal I only see "Change Portal Font and Colors" and "Customize Portal Tabs". I know you can upload Header, Footer, Logo but that still seems limiting. Where do I start if I wanted to build it all from scratch? Any good documentation for that?

 

Thanks again for you help.

EIE50EIE50

For example, if you have a tab called ideas in your out of box customer portal and now you want to customize the portal - then write custom controller on ideas and display the ideas data using VF pages. Give all your custom sytlings (CSS) in your VF pages. Once you control your navigation between your newly designed VF pages, you no longer need to worry about out of box portal look and feel.

 

There isn't any specific documentation available for this part, but if you need any help on apex and VF, you can post your problems under apex and Vf disucssion borads. The community is really helpful.

 

Thanks.

This was selected as the best answer