How to Set Up a Salesforce Experience Cloud Partner Portal with No Code: Part 1
Whether your experience using Salesforce communities dates back to pre-Experience Cloud times or you’re looking to upgrade from a legacy system, Salesforce partner portals are great for connecting external teams while keeping data, files, and records on the same platform.
Salesforce Experience Cloud (formerly Community Cloud) offers powerful features for strengthening relationships through the use of partner portals. These mini websites live in Salesforce and offer secure and user-friendly interfaces businesses and organizations can leverage to build open pathways for exchanging content, data, and resources with partner companies.
More specifically, Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portals provide a centralized location for partner enablement, which includes:
Partner marketing funds
Brand asset management
Click, Not Code Salesforce Partner Portal
The great thing about Salesforce is that it is highly customizable. In the same sense, Salesforce administrators and developers may take different approaches to reach similar customizations. However, the coding tricks up Salesforce developer sleeves are better reserved for complex Salesforce customization projects, and using a low-code or no-code strategy is best when feasible.
Luckily, it’s possible to create a Salesforce Experience Cloud Partner Portal using a “click, not code” approach. Keep reading to learn how!
This low-code instructional guide to creating a Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portal was created from information provided in the CRM Science webinar, How to Build a Salesforce Partner Portal with No Code. Click here to access the full webinar replay.
No-Code Instructions for Configuring a Salesforce Experience Cloud Partner Portal
The following instructions will equip you to build a simple partner portal using Salesforce Experience Cloud. There is a wide range of customization possible using Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portals. Contact a Salesforce-recognized consulting partner, like CRM Science, for complex partner portal configurations.
Before we start learning how to build a basic Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portal, you’ll need to complete the following:
Gain access to a Salesforce Developer Edition with Communities enabled (or a Trailhead org with Communities enabled).
Ensure the org has A Knowledge User enabled at the User Record (for Knowledgebase).
Gather company logos and other images to customize the portal.
What features are included with an out-of-the-box Salesforce Experience Cloud portal?
You can use the click of your mouse rather than writing lines of code to create a Salesforce Experience Cloud portal that includes the following features:
Company branding customization
Reports and Dashboards
Case management and case deflection
Marketing and resource libraries
Limitations of an out-of-the-box Experience Cloud partner portal
Before you start to build an Experience Cloud partner portal using the template, you should consider the following limitations.
Navigation is limited to predefined Salesforce navigation types.
Articles are limited to trending view only.
Files are limited in where they can be accessed.
Branding and theme are very limited.
Record entry is limited to standard Salesforce record creation, which means no forms that ask for multiple types of information that may lead to multiple records.
No form creator is available.
Limited user experience (UX) customizations are available.
Contact a Salesforce recognized consulting partner, like CRM Science, if any of the preceding limitations affect your particular use case or if you’re not sure if the Partner Central Template for Experience Cloud can meet your needs.
Step 1. Complete Pre-Work Tasks
There are several pre-work tasks to complete before diving in, which includes logging in to your Salesforce org and navigating to your user to enable specific features.
The following video includes instructions for pre-work, which includes logging in to a Salesforce Developer Org or Trailhead Org with Communities enabled.
Step 2. Determine Appropriate User Profile and Log In
Next, go to the quick find and go to profiles. In profiles, you're going to want to find your partner community user or your partner community login user.
The following video provides information for completing steps related to determining which user profile to use while configuring your Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portal.
Step 3. Edit permission sets for yourself.
Once you’re logged in, the next step is to grant appropriate permissions to yourself or the person who is creating the partner portal.
The following video explains and walks you through the process.
Step 4. Enable Chatter in Salesforce Experience Cloud.
Opening lines of communication and strengthening relationships with partners within the Salesforce platform is why we’re here, right?
The next step is to enable Chatter in the Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portal so it’s easy to communicate in the portal.
Step 5. Enable Experience Cloud Knowledge Base features.
Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portal knowledge base features empowers partners through self-service capabilities and contributes to case deflection. The next step to building your own partner portal is to enable Knowledge Base.
Step 6. Set data categories for Knowledge articles in a Salesforce partner community.
Data categories are the internal version of Salesforce that allows you to segment your Knowledge Base articles. It's a multi-level tree that allows you to have internal, external, and different groupings of articles so that it's easier to navigate and the content is easy to refresh.
Step 7. Enable topics for objects in Salesforce.
The next thing to do is a little Salesforce quirk, and that is to enable topics for objects, which allows us to create topics that are related to objects. Since Knowledge Base is now an object in Salesforce Lightning, we need to be able to enable the topics for it.
The following video outlines the steps to enable topics for objects in a Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portal.
Step 8. Configure page layouts for Knowledge Base articles.
The next step requires thought into the people who will see Knowledge Base content as end users. Each Knowledge Base article will include more fields than the end user will see, so you’ll have to configure page layouts for Knowledge Base articles.
The following video explains and provides further instructions for configuring page layouts for Knowledge Base articles.
Step 9. Enable your Salesforce Partner Community.
You’re almost there! The next step is to enable your Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portal so it’s published online and linked to a domain.
Watch the video to learn how to enable your portal.
How to Set Up an Experience Cloud Partner Portal with No Code: Part 2
This instructional guide is pretty lengthy to digest in one sitting, so we’ve divided it into two parts. Here's the link to Part 2, which will walk you through the steps to finalize your Salesforce Experience Cloud partner site, or portal.
Watch the Full Webinar Replay
This low-code instructional guide to creating a Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portal was created from information provided in the CRM Science webinar, How to Set Up a Salesforce Partner Portal with No Code.
Contact CRM Science Salesforce Consultants
Salesforce Experience Cloud includes out-of-the box portals or communities that are easy to build with no coding or development expertise required. However, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution for every company or organization’s needs. Complex situations may require customized partner portal solutions from Salesforce-recognized consulting partners, like CRM Science.
Contact CRM Science Salesforce Consultants to chat about your Salesforce Experience Cloud portal or community.