Customer Portal

Table of Contents

Overview
One Time Setup
Domain Mapping
Domain Verification
Add CName
Add TXT
Add File
Publish/Unpublish
Add and Manage Portal Users
Import Users
Invite Users
Set Profile for Users
Create and Manage Profiles
Email Notifications
Email Invitation Template
Reset Password Template
Page Customization
Page Settings
Login Page Template
Signup Page Template
Reset Password Template
Image
Section
Table
Other Settings
Configure Google Analytics

Overview

A Customer Portal is a great way for an organization to allow its customers to log into their dedicated internal system and access restricted data. Instead of building your own authentication and security mechanisms, you can use Zoho Creator portals. Your users will be able sign up with your portal instead of signing up with Zoho's account.

Your customers can log into your dedicated portal, access applications shared to them, submit data, and most importantly, view and edit only those records which they submitted. Thus, Customer Portal provides you with an opportunity to present your application with a brand identity personal to your organization.

Steps to set up Customer Portal

To set up customer portal:

  1. Navigate to the Settings page of the application.
  2. Select the Customer Portal tab. The Customer Portal page appears.

One Time Setup

When the portal is enabled for first time, it will prompt for the web address that will be used to access the portal. Enter the web address name of your choice and click on Submit button.

On successful configuration of the portal, the admin is redirected to the portal settings page as shown below.

Note:

  • Customer Portal comes with one profile by default, which can be edited by the App owner.
  • To create additional profiles, kindly contact Zoho Creator Support at support@zohocreator.com
  • For existing users, who already have multiple customer portal profiles, these profiles will stay unaffected. To create a new profile, kindly contact Zoho Creator Support at support@zohocreator.com

Domain Mapping

Domain mapping enables you to obtain a personalized domain name for your Creator application and create a URL that carries your organization's brand.

  1. In the portal settings tab, click on Domain Mapping link displayed below the the portal URL.
  2. Enter your Domain name in the domain mapping dialog box.
  3. Is always secure - Selecting this option will always use a secure connection (SSL) and connects through <https://>. We recommend that you keep this checked. If SSL is not already installed, please send an email to support@zohocreator.com to install SSL to your domain. If this option is not selected, your domain will be rendered through http:// .
  4. Click on the "Save" button to save the configurations.
  5. You can also edit or delete your domain URL from the same page through the edit or delete icons displayed next to the domain URL.
  6. Now the users can login to the domain URL to access the portal. However the portal URL will still be available.
  7. Any links that you had coming in to the portal URL earlier will not be broken.
  8. Domain Mapping is done via CNAME record because its an easy way to point the customer portal to the domain and it does not require comprehensive knowledge of DNS settings. Ensure that you have mapped the CNAME entry and linked it to customer-creator.zoho.com before you map your domain with creator.

Domain Verification

In Customer Portal, domain verification has been introduced to ensure that the domain name you enter is valid and secure. This verification has been made mandatory to eliminate the probability of misuse of domain names and subsequent loss of service to genuine users. Zoho

Creator provides you with three ways to verify your domain name. They are:

  • Adding CNAME - Enter a unique 'CNAME' record provided by us in the domain's DNS Manager
  • Adding TXT Record - Enter a specific TXT Record, in the given format in the domain's DNS Manager
  • Adding HTML File - Upload the given HTML file in the specific folder

To verify domain name:

  1. Navigate to the Settings page of the application.
  2. Select Customer Portal tab.
  3. Enter your Domain Name URL. An alert message states that your domain name is not verified yet.

 

  1. Click on Verify Now link. The Domain Verification pop-up appears.
  2. Make one of the listed configurations.
  3. Click on Verify.

Following succesful verification, your domain name is safe to use.

The new domain pattern *zohocreatorportal.com has been introduced for the users who have recently signed up.

On setting up customer portal using the new pattern, user will be able to edit the subdomain of the application. This eliminates the necessity of having to contact the Zoho Creator's support team in order to edit the subdomain of the application.

Besides, the subdomain of each application in an account will be unique.

Note:

For 'Reset Password' option to work, the 'Custom Domain' should be of HTTPS type (i.e SSL certificate installed)

Add CName

Verifying domain name using CNAME Method is done in two levels: First, generate the unique CNAME code in Zoho and then, add the code in your DNS Manager. Once it is successfully added, you can click verify to verify the domain. The unique code is automatically generated in the application.

You can use any valid domain in Zoho, as long as you have the required access to manage the DNS records of the domain. The generic steps or instructions to create CNAME for verification are provided below. You can use these instructions, if your specific domain provider is not available in the above list. You can also request your domain provider to create a CNAME with the code generated in Zoho, if you are unable to do it on your own.

To verify usind CName:

  1. Log into your account where your domain's DNS is hosted. (Your Domain’s Administrative DNS Host)
  2. Open your Domain Management Page to update the DNS Records (DNS Manager or DNS Control Panel or Advanced DNS editor).
  3. Locate the option to add CNAME records (Generally found under DNS Records, you can also consult the help page of your registrar in case you are not clear)
  4. Refer to the generated unique code Name/ Host/ Alias/ CNAME under the CName Method tab.
  5. Refer to customer-creator.zoho.com in Value/ Points To/ Destination field.
  6. If the TTL is editable, reduce the TTL to 300 seconds or the minimum possible value recommended by your Registrar.
  7. Click Save or Add Record option to save the CNAME Records.
  8. Select CNAME from the type drop-down menu.
  9. In the Host field, enter the unique zbcode (zb*******) generated for your domain.
  10. In the Points to field, enter zmverify.zoho.com.
  11. Click Save.
  12. Wait for the action to take effect on DNS.
  13. Log into your account again.

 

  1. Click Verify.

In case, you get an error during verification, refer here to troubleshoot the common reasons for verification failure.

Add CNAME for verification - GoDaddy

If the DNS Manager for your domain is hosted with GoDaddy, follow the steps below to add a CNAME and verify the domain.

  1. Login to your GoDaddy DNS Manager. Select the My Account menu and choose Domains.
  2. Expand Domains and click the Manage DNS button for the domain you want to verify.
  3. The DNS Manager page will open with information abour existing DNS records.
  4. Scroll down to the Records section and click the Add button to add a DNS record.

Note:

You have now added the CNAME successfully. The update usually takes effect in a few minutes.

Add TXT

You can also verify your domain by TXT method. In this method, you will create a TXT record in your DNS manager with the provided values.

To add TXT:

  1. Select the TXT Method tab, in the Domain Verification page.
  2. Create a TXT record in your DNS with the title as zoho-verification and the value as zmverify.zoho.com. The host name should be @/ domain name for the text record you add.The value should be *******.customer-creator.zoho.com, where the code is autogenerated and available in the verification page.
  3. Wait for some time after saving the TXT record.
  4. Log into your Zoho Account.
  5. Go to Control Panel.
  6. Select Domains page.

 

  1. Click on Verify.

The domain name is thus verified.

Add TXT for verification - GoDaddy

If the DNS Manager for your domain is hosted with GoDaddy, follow the steps below to add a CNAME and verify the domain.

  1. Login to your GoDaddy DNS Manager. Select the My Account menu and choose Domains.
  2. Expand Domains and click the Manage DNS button for the domain you want to verify.
  3. The DNS Manager page will open with information abour existing DNS records.
  4. Scroll down to the Records section and click the Add button to add a DNS record.
  5. Select TXT from the Type drop-down menu.
  6. In the Host field, enter the unique zbcode (zb*******) generated for your domain.
  7. In the Points to field, enter zmverify.zoho.com.
  8. Click Save.

Add File

You can also verify your domain by adding HTML file. In this method, you will be adding the file we provide in a specified path under your website page. When you click Verify, it will look for the particular file in your website, and verify your domain based on the file. Generally the website may be hosted by any website hosting provider like WordPress or GoDaddy etc.

To add a file:

  1. Select the HTML Method tab in the Domain Verification pop-up in Customer Portal.
  2. Click on 'verifydomain.html' to download the HTML verification file. The content of the file will vary for each domain and is usually a unique string of numbers.
  3. Log into your account provided by your website hosting company.
  4. Create a folder in root called 'zcp'.
  5. Upload the file to 'http://www.*****.com/zcp/verifydomain.html'. You should now be able to view the code, when you click the webpage link.

 

  1. Click on Verify.

Once you have added the HTML file as mentioned, you can check the same by typing http://www.*****.com/zcp/verifydomain.html in the browser. It will display a 7 digit alphanumeric code linked to your new domain.

Publish/Unpublish

The Publish/Unpublish mode is used to change the login status to the portal. When the portal is set to publish mode, users will be able to access the portal with the portal address.

If the portal is set to Unpublish mode, the portal is locked and it cannot be accessed by the users. The portal shows the message as Site down for maintenance as shown in the screenshot below.

Add and manage portal users

The Users tab lets you add and manage your portal users. You can add users to your portal either by importing the users list in supported file formats or invite them by specifying their email addresses Every portal user is assigned a profile. The profile contains the module-level permissions for the user.

Adding a user to the portal

There are two ways in which you as the portal admin can add users to the portal.

Import Users

You can import the users list to the portal and assign a profile for them. To import the list:

  1. Click Import Users from the Users tab.

 

  1. Choose the users list from your local drive and select the profile.
  2. Click Import.
  3. Once imported, review the email addresses in the list and click Send Invite.
  4. An automated email invitation is sent to the users email address provided by the administrator.


 

 

The Approved Users list displays the users list who have accepted the administrator's email invitation.

Invite Users

To invite a user:

  1. Click Invite User from the Users tab.

 

  1. Specify the email address of the user. You can add multiple email addresses separated by a comma.
  2. Select the profile for the users.
  3. Click Send Invite.
  4. An automated email invitation is sent to the users email address provided by the administrator. On accepting the invitation, the users can login to the portal and access the application based on their profile.

Additionally, you can delete, search, edit and bulk edit the profile of the user from the Users tab.

Set profile for users

Profiles lets you to set module-level permissions to your users. The profile controls the permission to access the forms, reports and pages, import permissions to import data to the forms and export permissions to export data. Users associated to the profile can perform the functions that are provided to them. By default, Zoho Creator contains the Customer profile.

Customer Profile

This profile will only have add and view permissions. You can edit or clone this profile to create a new profile.

Create and manage profile

To create a profile:

  1. Click New Profile from the Profiles tab.
  2. In the New profile pop-up window fill the below details:
    • Profile Name: Set a name your profile.
    • Clone Profile (optional): Choose the profile that you want to clone. The newly created profile contains the same set of permissions as the selected profile.
    • Description: Set a description for the profile.

 

  1. Click Create.
  2. In the next window, choose the permissions that you want to assign to the profile. Profiles contain the following permissions.
    • Module-level permissions: Permissions to access the modules (tabs) in the application.
    • Record-level permissions: Permissions to create, view, edit, delete records.
    • Field-level permissions: Permissions to access the fields in a record.
    • Import permissions:Permissions to import data to all or specific forms in the application.
    • Export permissions: Permissions to export data from all or specific forms in the application.

 

  1. Click Save.

Zoho Creator creates a new profile with a set of module-level permissions.

Email Notifications

The Email Notifications tab allows the user to customize the email invitation and password reset templates. The templates are specific for each portal. If the template is not customized, then the default template shown in the screenshot below, will be sent to the user. From and Reply to Email Address - All the invitations sent to the users will be sent through the email address provided in the this field. This field is editable and allows you to change the address.

The Email Notifications tab consist of the following components.

Email Address

By default, the From and Reply To Email Address is the email address of the adimistrator and can be edited.

Email Invitation Template

This feature allows the administrator to customize the email invitation. To customize the invitation template, click on the Edit icon available next to the subject of the invitation template in the Email Notifications tab. The invitation template window appears containing the following components.

Template: Template field refers to the default name of the template.

Subject: The subject field refers to the subject of the Email invitation. You can customize the subject of the email from this field.

Available Merge Fields: Each Available merge field consist of selected fields. By choosing a combination of values from Available merge field and the Select field, the Copy merge field value is generated. Copy and paste the generated merge field value in the body of the email. 

  1. Navigate to Users and click on “Add Users” tab in the respective permission set to add users to that particular permission set. Alternatively, you can also click on "Add Users" tab on the top right to add users.
  2. Click on “Add Users” tab and enter comma separated email addresses of Users you want to share the Application with. Now click on the Permission and select from existing permission sets or click on “+New Permission” to create a new permission set. When you create a new permission set, all the Forms, Reports and Pages will be listed with various permissions to the modules, that can be check-marked accordingly. The following list explains the various permission tabs:
  • Access - Allows user to access the Form
  • View Records - Allows user to view records of selected Reports. When you check this permission, you are given options to select required/all reports of that Form.
  • Edit Records - Allows user to edit records of selected Reports. When you check this permission, you are given options to select required/all reports of that Form.
  • Delete Records - Allows user to delete records of selected Reports. When you check this permission, you are given options to select required/all reports of that Form.
  • Import - Allows user to import data into selected modules.
  • Export - Allows user to export records from the Application to your device.
  • Field Permissions - Allows you to configure field level permissions for Users. You can make fields visible/invisible and give read/write permissions to users here.
  • Click on “Add” to add the user along with the defined permissions.

The email invitation template can be customized by using the below mentioned merge field values:

  • ${Portal.DOMAIN_NAME} - returns the domain name of the portal
  • ${Portal.ADMINISTRATOR} - returns the name of the portal administrator
  • ${Portal.SUBDOMAIN_NAME} - returns the sub-domain name of the portal
  • ${Portal.LINK_NAME} - returns the application link name
  • ${Portal.DISPLAY_NAME} - returns the display name of the portal
  • ${Link.PORTAL_URL} - returns the link to access the portal URL
  • ${Link.ACCEPT_PORTAL_INVITATION} - returns the link to accept portal invitation
  • ${User.EMAIL_ID} - returns the Email address of the user
  • ${User.FULL_NAME} - returns the full name of the user

Reset Password Template

This feature allows the administrator to customize the reset password template. When an user requests for password reset from the portal home page, the customized reset password template is automatically sent to the Email Address of the user containing the link to change password. The user can change the password from the link available in the email.

To customize the Reset password template, click on the Edit icon available next to the subject of the template in the Email Notifications tab.

The reset password template window appears containing the following components.

Template: Template field refers to the default name of the template.

Subject: The subject field refers to the subject of the password reset email. You can customize the subject of the email from this field.

Available Merge Fields: Each Available merge field consist of selected fields. By choosing a combination of values from Available merge field and the Select field, the Copy merge field value is generated. Copy and paste the generated merge field value in the body of the email.

The list of available merge field values are given below.

  • ${Portal.DOMAIN_NAME} - returns the domain name of the portal
  • ${Portal.ADMINISTRATOR} - returns the name of the portal administrator
  • ${Portal.SUBDOMAIN_NAME} - returns the sub-domain name of the portal
  • ${Portal.LINK_NAME} - returns the application link name
  • ${Portal.DISPLAY_NAME} - returns the display name of the portal
  • ${Link.PORTAL_URL} - returns the link to access the portal URL
  • ${Link.ACCEPT_PORTAL_INVITATION} - returns the link to accept portal invitation
  • ${User.EMAIL_ID} - returns the Email address of the user
  • ${User.FULL_NAME} - returns the full name of the user

The reset password template can be customized by using the above mentioned merge field values.

Note:

Both Invitation and Reset Password Template supports up to a maximum of 32,000 characters in the body of the email message.

Page Customization

Page customization allows you to customize the look and feel of your customer portal home page to suit your organizational needs.

To customize the customer portal:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Customer Portal.
  3. Click the Page Customization tab. The pages are listed.

To replace the "Zoho" logo in customer portal with any other logo, please refer https://www.zoho.com/creator/help/account-settings/customize-logo-and-links.html.

Page Settings

Page settings equip you to individually customize your pages. For instance, you can edit the login page using the settings below and make it appear is a design that aligns with your requirement. Select the page customization tab and click edit to start customizing a particular page. You can customize the following attributes:

  • Heading
  • Paragraph
  • Images
  • Sections
  • Table
  • Font style
  • Font size
  • Font format
  • Font color
  • Highlight color
  • Listing
  • Increase and decrease indent
  • Link and unlink
  • Special characters
  • Border settings
  • Background color
  • Insert fields
  • Row - Number of rows
  • Column - Number of columns
  • Border
  • Cell Padding
  • Cell Spacing
  • Background Color
  • Background Image
  • Border Color
  • Border Thickness
  • Background repeat
  • Display Name

Login Page Template

To customize the page:

  1. Select Page Customization tab. The pages are listed.
  2. Click edit to customize the login page.

 

  1. Customize the portal login page using the various attributes present on the page header.

Screenshot displaying the customization of Login page

Signup Page Template

To customize the page:

  1. Select Page Customization tab. The pages are listed.
  2. Click edit to customize the Signup page.

 

  1. Customize the portal signup page using the various attributes present on the page header.

Screenshot displaying the customization of Signup page

Reset Password Page Template

To customize the page:

  1. Select Page Customization tab. The pages are listed.
  2. Click edit to customize the Reset Password page.

 

  1. Customize the portal reset password page using the various attributes present on the page header.

Screenshot displaying the customization of reset password page

Images

Upload images that need to be displayed on the portal page using this option. You can upload images using "File Manager" option or the "Web URL" option. File Manager allows you to upload images from your local computer. Web URL allows you to provide an external link of the image.

Screenshot displaying the page to upload an image using the Image option

Note:

You can upload images up to 5Mb in the following formats: .jpg, .png & .gif

Sections

This feature allows you to enter two different paragraphs, already separated into different sections. You can choose to have one, two or three different sections. You can also set the proportion allocated to each section in terms of ratio. Along with these, you have border settings, background color and "edit with HTML" options also.

Screenshot displaying the customization using Sections option

Table

You can choose to enter a table in your portal page using this option and define the table's properties.

Screenshot displaying the page to set table settings using the Table option

Other Settings

The Settings icon displayed on the top-right corner of the Record Summary page provides options to resize your page, change the current page layout, customize the background color, image and many other options to customize the look and feel of your page. It consists of Dimensions settings, Layout settings and Customize settings.

Using Dimensions settings, you can set the values of resizing and padding of the respective pages.

Screenshot displaying the Dimensions settings

Using Layout settings, you can choose to set one, two or three columns with different formatting options. Page options, Header and Footer can be enabled or disabled from here.

Screenshot displaying the Layout settings

Using Customize settings, you can set the following attributes:

Screenshot displaying the Customize settings

Note:

You can always reset the customized pages to their default form using the Reset option.

Configure Google Analytics

Configuring Google Analytics allows the tool to collaborate with your Zoho Creator application and collect data, which will be cumulatively presented as statistics that enable you to assess visits to your site, registrations to your site, and many such details.

To configure Google Analytics, you must register for it:

  1. Create an account with Google Analytics.
  2. Sign in to your Google Analytics account, and go to the admin page.
  3. Select an account from the dropdown in the Account column.
  4. Select a property from the dropdown in the Property column.
  5. Click Tracking Info.
  6. Obtain the unique identifier code.

To configure Google Analytics:

Enter the unique identifier code in the GA Tracker ID field. This will link your portal with your Google Analytics account. On accessing the application, admin can view the analytics. Currently, configuring google analytics is supported for Login page, Signup page and Password Reset page.