Portals for CRM Developers

The Portal Connector was created out of frustration. Read the full Portal Connector story here

Our CRM Developers were tired of trying to build customer web portals within CRM.  We wanted to provide a better experience for our team of CRM Developers, and deliver more Value to our Customers.

The Portal Connector was built with CRM Developers in mind.  As such, it has the following attributes that make it the best choice for building Web Portals.

Portals for CRM Developers
Fully Configurable with any CRM Data

Fully Configurable with any CRM Data.

  • Developers are not restricted in the solutions they deliver for the customer.
  • When you are configuring a complex solution for your customer in CRM, you can be assured that the custom entities and fields you create in CRM can be used in configuring a portal.
Examples of The Portal Connector removing barriers for Developers:
  • The Portal Connector solution frees your developers from being forced into using a specific framework of scripting syntax. The Portal Connector allows you to use virtually any JavaScript, CSS or HTML framework.
  • With a self-service portal, you want to provide an exceptional user experience. The Portal Connector provides the ability to structure your forms in any manner you require and allows you to control the presentation of all CRM data instead of the structure and UX presented in CRM/365.

Customization with .NET Code

Customization with .NET Code

  • The Portal Connector can be extended with .NET Code, and has an extensive JavaScript API as well as robust C# API.  Dynamics 365 Portals cannot be extended with custom .NET Code due to lack of access to Visual Studio Project Files and the hosting file system.
  • Primary Configuration for end users is drag and drop, point and click. This environment provides users with a visual representation of the content being edited.
  • CRM Developers can customize this further with C#, CSS, Java, Bootstrap templates or any other popular framework.
  • The Portal Connector has built-in customizable content approval workflows with version rollback on pages and forms.
Examples of The Portal Connector removing barriers for Developers:
  • For those complex customer requirements, you can develop custom widgets/controls that integrate directly into The Portal Connector design environment seamlessly, as if it were a native part of The Portal Connector. More importantly, developers can do it in a familiar environment and development language.
  • With The Portal Connector’s widget templating system and C#/JavaScript APIs, native widgets can be customized from function to presentation in all aspects.

Hosting and Access to Files

Hosting and Access to Files.

  • The Portal Connector can be hosted anywhere, on any IIS application server or cloud hosting service. This provides a number of benefits for developers and end users.
Examples of The Portal Connector removing barriers for Developers:
  • CRM Developers have access to Project files for custom .NET code.  This not the case for Dynamics 365 Portals which are hosted in Azure. End Users can take control of their own data and not be required to store it on Microsoft Servers.

Dedicated Environment for Configuration

Dedicated Environment for Configuration.

  • With a dedicated configuration environment, The Portal Connector reduces the footprint of a portal solution within your CRM/365 environment from an intrusive 45+ entities down to 6 entities.
Examples of The Portal Connector removing barriers for Developers:
  • A dedicated environment also allows developers to be creative in delivering functional elements without being restricted by CRM/365 design requirements.
  • In a development world, it’s always been best practice to separate your data from your presentation. A dedicated environment means your configurations for your self-service portal are not stored along with the business data being presented by your configurations.

Cache Invalidation

Cache Invalidation.

  • The Portal Connector has optimized its output cache invalidation (output cache pre-compiles pages, generates html on the server and serves that html when requested by a client. When a second client requests that same page, it uses the cached version that was generated previously.)
Examples of The Portal Connector removing barriers for Developers:
  • With The Portal Connector, when data changes within Dynamics CRM we only invalidate pages that are affected by the changed data. We do this by using dependency injection.

Customizable Responsive Design

Customizable Responsive Design.

  • Using point and click configuration tools or CSS, you can customize the mobile responsive design of the portal, with visual feedback on how the new layout will render on devices.
  • You can create new rules for the responsiveness of the web portal.
Examples of The Portal Connector removing barriers for Developers:
  • Customize how portal elements will render on different devices to ensure a consistent, mobile responsive design for end users

CRM Version Support

CRM Version Support.

  • CRM Developers have the flexibility to deliver portals to customers still on older and On-Premise versions of Dynamics CRM.
  • The Portal Connector supports CRM 2011 up to CRM 2016 Online and On-Premise, as well as Dynamics 365 and the Common Data Service.
Examples of The Portal Connector removing barriers for Developers:
  • For customers using older versions of Dynamics CRM or who host their Dynamics CRM/365 solution on premise, you cannot use Dynamics 365 Portals. The Portal Connector is the only portal option available for past versions of Dynamics CRM, and Dynamics 365 On-Premise. 

Developer Network and Resources

Developer Network and Resources.

  • The Portal Connector provides CRM developers with access to extensive Developer Resources through our Developer Network with lots of How-To Videos and instructions, as well as a Forum to pose ideas and questions.
  • We host Daily Q&A Sessions to answer questions.

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