Customer Portal & Self-Registration [How-to]

Posted December 14th, 2010 in Certified Advanced Administrator, Certified Consultant, Tips & Tricks by John Coppedge

Configuring customer portal can be somewhat confusing the first time around.  Here are a few basic guidelines to get you going in the right direction:

  • For each object that you expose in a portal, the sharing model must be private (unless you want to expose all records of that object to your portal).
  • Use sharing rules to recreate the sharing model for All Internal Users.
    Example rule creation for accounts:
  • In order to expose an object and/or tab to the customer portal the following must be true:
    • The tab in question must be supported by the customer portal.  From the article “Why can’t I see my tab in the Customer Portal?”:

        Even though all objects are displayed in the Customer Portal setup, only the following can display as tabs in your Customer Portal:
        Web tabs
        Custom objects

    • When exposing a custom object, make sure to check ‘Available for Customer Portal’ on the object properties:
    • Ensure that the customer portal profile(s) have access to the object:
      • Object Tab Setting: Default On

      • Standard Object Permissions: Object Read (minimum)

      • Field-level security on the object

    • Make sure profile(s) are assigned the correct page layout

    • Create the customer portal:

      • Ensure ‘Login Enabled’ is checked

      • Click Customize Portal Tabs (top) and choose tabs to expose (all of the above must be configured before tabs are exposed)

      • Click Edit Profiles button (bottom) and assign profile(s) access to login to the portal

    • Add/verify portal management buttons on the account and contact page layouts


Self-registration will allow existing contacts within your Salesforce org to sign up for portal access.    To enable:

  • Enable self-registration on the portal itself
  • Give contacts ability to self-register
    • The field ‘Allow Customer Portal Self-Registration’ determines if a contact can self-register.  By default, this field is not checked.  First, enable visibility:
      • Grant the Visible permission to ‘Allow Customer Portal Self-Registration’ for portal administration profiles
      • Add the ‘Allow Customer Portal Self-Registration’ field to the appropriate contact page layouts
    • Update all contacts to grant self-registration capability (this can now be accomplished through data loader as well)
  • Contacts should now be able to self-register through the portal login page
    • Note:  The email address provided on the self-registration page must match the email address on the contact record exactly (it IS case sensitive!).