What’s new in portal capabilities for Dynamics 365

Welcome to portal capabilities for Dynamics 365. Here's a list of features we added recently. For more information about the updates that have been made to portal capabilities for Dynamics 365 to date, along with additional details about those updates, see portal capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Releases.

Portal capabilities version 8.3 for Dynamics 365

Portal capabilities version 8.3 for Dynamics 365 has brought many new updates and features:

  • Ability to include attachments with knowledge articles: You can display note attachments along with knowledge articles. To enable this feature, you create the site setting KnowledgeManagement/DisplayNotes and set the value to true. Portal users can also search for these attachments.

    Note

    Search for attachments can only be performed on the note's description and file attachment name. The content of the attached file is not searchable.

  • Administrative wizard to add an entity to the portal: This feature introduces a new administrative wizard to easily expose data on the portal. The entity created through the wizard takes the data from your organization and makes a subset of it available to your portal customers, based on the security and permission model you choose.

  • Portal interaction tracking (preview): Use this preview feature to track a customer's interaction with your portal and funnel it to Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights. This will be helpful for plotting a 360-degree view of the user’s journey on your portal before and after a case is created. This also helps you to understand the real issue, avoid asking the user for the same information over again, and enable you to respond with relevant information.
  • Import metadata translation: Use this feature to import the metadata translation of newly activated languages after you install a portal.
  • Source code availability for portals: A one-time release of portal capabilities code is released to the Microsoft Download Center under MIT license for developers to download. This feature enables portals to be deployed to Dynamics 365 on-premises or online environments, and allows developers to customize the code to suit their specific business needs. > [!Note] > Source code is offered as a working sample and on an as-needed basis. No direct support will be provided for any modifications to the code.
  • Single sign-on (SSO) configuration improvements and support for Azure Active Directory B2C (Azure AD B2C): For portals that require a consumer-based sign-in, this feature now supports the ability to:
    • Configure your portal authentication to use SSO.
    • Support Azure AD B2C for customer authentication.
    • Manage your portal security in Azure.
  • Support time zone–independent date formats in portals forms: This feature adds support for Date Only and Timezone Independent behaviors for date/time fields.
  • Allowing non-global administrators to provision a portal: You can now provision a portal if you are assigned to the System Administrator role of the CRM organization selected for the portal. You can now also manage an existing portal, if you have any of the following roles:
    • Dynamics 365 Service Administrator
    • System Administrator of the CRM organization selected for the portal
  • Store the custom domain name for a portal: This feature stores the primary domain name of a portal on the website record. If the domain name is changed in the future, the latest primary domain name will be stored.
  • Tracking cookie for portals: A persistent cookie, Dynamics365PortalAnalytics, will be set whenever a user goes to a portal. This cookie has an expiration of 90 days. This cookie does not store any of the user's personal data and is used by Microsoft to collect analytics about portal service. Please read the Microsoft online services privacy statement here.
  • Performance improvement of header and footer on a portal: Two new site settings, Header/OutputCache/Enabled and Footer/OutputCache/Enabled, are added to enable header/footer output caching when these settings are set to true. For new users, these site settings are set to true by default, thereby enabling header and footer output caching. For existing users who upgrade to a newer version of portal capabilities, output caching is disabled by default. It means that the Header and Footer web templates are parsed and rendered on every page load. To enable output caching, they must update the appropriate web templates and create the required site settings.

December 2016 updates

The December 2016 update has brought many new features to the portal capabilities of Dynamics 365. These updates allow for better interactions among companies, partners, and customers, and make the experience of navigating the portal faster and easier. Some of the major updates include:

  • Multiple language support: Support customers from multiple regions by using a single portal.
  • East Asian language support: Multiple-byte languages such as Japanese, Chinese, and Korean are now supported.
  • Faceted search: New filters improve how quickly customers can find the content they are looking for while granting more control over visibility of content.
  • Product filtering: Portal users can trim access to knowledge articles related to their product ownership to avoid information overload.
  • Content access levels: A new level of ownership associated with a portal contact, account, or web role can be used to control access to knowledge articles, to help target the right article at the right audience and prevent irrelevant articles from surfacing.
  • Knowledge article reporting enhancement: The portal tracks where a knowledge article was used in the portal.
  • Project Service Automation integration: Provide access and visibility for active and closed projects across all stages of a project lifecycle to partners and customers. Team members, reviewers, and customers can view project status, quotes, order forums, and bookable resources on the portal with this solution.
  • Field Service integration: Expose information about active agreements, assets, work orders, invoices, and support cases to partners and customers on the portal with this solution.
  • Partner onboarding: Recruit new partners for better customer sales and service experiences. Potential partners can apply for partner status through the portal.

Privacy notice

By enabling the portal capabilities for Dynamics 365, Dynamics 365 data, such as customer name, product name, case number, or any custom entity data, can be exposed through an external-facing Dynamics 365 portal. Any data exposed through the portal is stored in memory in Microsoft Azure Web Apps for caching and also as files on the local hard drive to enable portal search functionality.

A tenant administrator enables Dynamics 365 portals by configuring it through the Dynamics 365 admin center, which also installs a package (with solutions and data) in the selected Dynamics 365 instance. A tenant administrator or a Dynamics 365 user set up as a Portal Administrator can then specify the data that will be exposed through the portal. To subsequently disable the portal capabilities, a tenant administrator can cancel the Portal Add-on subscription with Office 365.

Important Azure components and services that are involved with the portal capabilities are:

  • Azure Web Apps: Azure Web Apps are used to host the portal in Azure.
  • Azure Traffic Manager: Azure Traffic Manager is used to ensure the high availability of the service by routing the user to the Web Apps that are up and running.
  • Azure Service Bus: Azure Service Bus (Topics/Subscriptions) is used for cache invalidation of the portals. Azure Service Bus temporarily stores the messages, which are triggered when any portal-related record is changed in Dynamics 365, and are passed along to Web Apps to do the cache invalidation.
  • Azure Key Vault: All services store configuration data in Azure Key Vault.
  • Azure Storage: Data related to the organization, tenant, and portal is stored in Azure Storage.
  • Azure Active Directory: All the web services use Azure Active Directory to authenticate.

For more information about additional Azure service offerings, see the Microsoft Azure Trust Center.