CRM Portals Now Generally Available in CRM Online 2016 Spring Wave

The Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Spring Wave is shaping up to be a one of the largest updates to CRM with the inclusion of new application extensions, Project Service, Field Service and CRM Portals. Adoxio is particularly thrilled to see the launch of CRM Portals.  Having created the Adxstudio portals product before its sale to Microsoft, we at Adoxio are excited to see how the product has evolved since Microsoft took it over.   

The Microsoft team, comprised of several former Adxstudio colleagues, has been hard at work integrating the Adxstudio Portals product directly into the CRM Online experience. The new CRM Portal add-ons available in the Spring Wave are specifically tied with this update to CRM Online, and will not be available to the on premise version of CRM until later this fall. CRM on premise customers can continue to use the latest version of Adxstudio Portals compatible with their CRM version until the self-hosted version of CRM Portals is made available.

For installation and management of CRM Portals, the new Portal add-on management has been integrated directly into the CRM Online Administration Center under the new Applications section. The Applications section makes it easy to add CRM Portals to any CRM Online organization through a completely wizard driven process, no downloads or installers required. Through this process you can enable any of the new CRM Portal templates available as part of the Spring Wave, these include: Custom Portal (also called Starter or Basic), Community Portal, Customer Portal, Partner Portal and an all new Employee Self-Service Portal.

CRM Online Administration Center - Applications

CRM Portals available in the Spring Wave is limited to the Software as a Service (SaaS) version of product and as such the deployment of CRM solutions, portal site data and the portal code are all done as part of the application add-on enablement process. This really removes a lot of the previous barriers there was to self-starting your installation and portal deployment, with a couple of clicks now you can get CRM Portals up and running with a ready to use scalable public facing site.

CRM Portals add-ons are priced with a monthly cost of $500 (USD) per portal per month with the Software as a Service offering. Pricing is based on the number of page views on your portal with the base including 1 million page views and additional purchasable with add-ons at $50 for each additional million page views. Through the application add-on management you may enable multiple portals of various templates from within the same CRM organization. Customers that are using CRM on premise or CRM Online looking at purchasing Adxstudio Portals for self-hosting functionality the licensing costs will remain as they are today. To learn more, further enablement details will be available in a future blog post, Enabling CRM Portal Add-Ons in CRM Online 2016 Spring Wave.

There are some important things to note about this release of CRM Portals.

Upgrades from an existing Adxstudio Portals release to CRM Portals v8.1 and running both within the same organization are not currently supported. It is expected that a migration path for existing customers will be available in the fall release of CRM Portals. Until then if you do have an installation of Adxstudio in a CRM Online 2016 Spring Wave organization you can upgrade to the latest version of Adxstudio Portals v7 from the Adxstudio Community site.

With CRM Portals, a portal is limited to one language. To support multiple languages you may enable multiple Portal add-ons in any of the 38 support languages. All CRM languages except right to left languages are supported in the Spring Update, and additional Portal add-on costs are required for each language. Existing versions of Adxstudio Portals continue to support multiple languages within the same portal.

CRM Portals is currently limited to a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution in the Spring Update and hosting of portal code is done using Azure App Services. Configuration of the App Services cannot be directly accessed but will include all the capabilities of Azure with automatic scaling and redundant failover across multiple data center regions. As this is a SaaS solution the portal source code will not be available for modification with Visual Studio which may limit the ability to customize the portal for specific enterprise needs. All customization must be done using the CRM customizer and CRM Portals configuration options like entity forms, entity lists, liquid templating and the many other native functions of CRM Portals.

This first release of CRM Portals offers a lot of existing Adxstudio Portal functionality and features easily to CRM Online customers as a Software as a Service offering but might not provide all the flexibility that customers who currently use Adxstudio Portals today need. The fall version of CRM Portals will bring a lot of those important features to on premise customers including the functionality of having full control of the portal source code with Visual Studio and the ability to self-host portals wherever you choose. Adoxio continues to help customers with complex business requirements succeed with the current version of Adxstudio Portals which provides the same rich feature set of CRM Portals with the full platform customization capabilities that enterprise class solutions require. To better understand what is available in CRM Portals and what might be the right solution for your implementation view our feature comparison chart with Adxstudio Portals v7.

Adoxio is excited with the release of CRM Portals and the opportunity it provides to Dynamics CRM customers to access the capabilities of Adxstudio Portals now from Microsoft. Microsoft is investing heavily in CRM Portals, and it is a testament to the value of Adxstudio Portals to see Microsoft acquire it and turn it into a fully-integrated, Microsoft endorsed solution for building and hosting web portals based upon Dynamics CRM. Having the experience of building this kind of product for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, our team has an understanding of Dynamics CRM and CRM portals that extends beyond simple customization – we understand what’s going on underneath the hood. This means better decisions about the way we build CRM solutions for our customers, delivering projects that will work better and require less maintenance as Dynamics CRM continues to evolve.

To learn more please to continue reading our CRM Portals series with, What's New In CRM Portals and check back over the next few days for more posts.

CRM Portals blog series posts: