By Sharif Shaalan
To set up your community, an implementation must stay close to out-of-the-box functionality while customizing the community to fit the clients’ business needs. Yes, building Salesforce communities for Enterprise customers is a balancing act. Below are a few points to consider when setting up your community.
- Do you need access to Campaigns or Opportunities? Customer community licenses do not provide access to these objects.
- Do you need the users to be part of the role hierarchy? Customer community licenses do not allow roles for users.
- What is the max amount of users your community will have? Generally customer licenses will support many more users since they do not have roles and thus will not touch the sharing calculation associated with roles.
Who needs to see what? You want to stay within the standard sharing model and avoid too many customizations. At the same time, you can’t avoid instances where information needs to be exposed through custom visualforce pages to accommodate for information that lives a few levels deeper than what is exposed through standard means.
Collaboration is the cornerstone of the community and functionality should be built with this in mind. Having said that, communities have many out-of-the-box features that can be turned on. It is essential to front load the implementation with these features as they are the cornerstone of community engagement and will not incur much time and resources compared to more complex customizations. Some of these features include Chatter, Chatter Answers, and Ideas.
Next would be to implement self service solutions as needed. Salesforce Knowledge and Cases are the foundation of any community.
Flip the Switch
Testing all aspects before you deploy to production is key. Remember to test your email templates and make sure the process for sign up is as designed (whether triggered from an action like filling out a form or self-registration). You may also want to implement single sign on for Facebook or other social media accounts into your community.
Sharif Shaalan is a Principal Consultant & Technical Architect at roundCorner. He is a Saleforce.com MVP. The MVP program recognizes exceptional individuals within the Salesforce community for their leadership, knowledge, and ongoing contributions.