Customer Portal - eService overwrote all customizations

Aug 31, 2010 at 3:46 PM

We have just started rolling out pieces of the Customer Portal - just the ContactUs piece first.  Deploying the customizations overwrote (at least) the account and contact customizations we had in place.  Once noted, we reimported our backup file of the account and contact customizations but they did not come in successfully. 

We have two clients waiting to roll out the Customer Portal, but we need to iron out the issues with overwriting customizations.  Has anyone else seen this?  How to we cleanly remove all pieces so we can get back to our original customization state?


Aug 31, 2010 at 4:39 PM

CRM 4 imports should do a successful merge at the attribute and relationship level, but the rule it uses for views and forms is the-last-import-wins.

When I deploy the customer portal extensions to an existing CRM that is customized, I always follow this rough process:

  1. Perform a SQL backup of the org database
  2. Publish all customizations (this validates that everything is running fine before you start)
  3. Take screenshots of any entities that will collide:  ie: contact and account
  4. Export the current customizations to a customizations backup file
  5. Import the customer portal
  6. take screenshots of any entities that will be destroyed by a restore
  7. Restore your backup customizations file - only picking entities that you want restored (ie: contact and account)
  8. Edit the form, and add back any fields into the UI that you want from the screenshots that you took after you installed the customizationsI

For complex organizations or for critical orgs, I also typically test the changes in a test environment before I do it to production.

There should be no reason that you cannot restore your customizations back on top, unless your CRM was in an inconsistent state before you started the process.  I am assuming that you are now getting errors on publishing customizations.  When I get those errors, I publish one entity at a time until I narrow down the problem to a single entity, then I locate the problem (usually a field on a form that doesn't have a backing property or relationship), and publish the fix.

If you are still having problems, the fault is not the accelerators, but the state of your CRM.  You can open a support ticket and support will help you isolate and resolve the issue.