Wondering What to do With
Your Adxstudio Portal?

Understanding Microsoft Portal Options for Dynamics 365
 

As of July 2017 there now exist several portal options from Microsoft for Dynamics 365.  Let's explore all the options available and if your an existing Adxstudio Portals customer what you can do to continue to be supported and build solutions on portals.

Adxstudio Portals

Adxstudio Portals v7 is the original version that Microsoft acquired in October 2015 and has only seen minor releases.  End of support of this version should be announced within 3 years of the original acquisition based on the history of acquisitions and legacy product retirement by Microsoft.  As seen in past similar situations a upgrade or transition path from legacy to current will be provided and ample notice for end of support.

October 2018 will represent 3 years since the acquisition of Adxstudio.  We should expect very few minor releases moving forward until support is terminated.

Portals, From Microsoft - Dynamics 365 portals

Microsoft directly provides a portal add-on as part of the Dynamics 365 platform as a full Software as a Service (SaaS) offering.  Originally launched as Microsoft CRM portals in Spring 2016 with CRM 2016 Spring Update, v8.1.  Then later re-branded Dynamics 365 portals with the launch of Dynamics 365 as version 8.2.  July 2017 will represent the release of v8.3 of Dynamics 365 portals.

Portals, from Microsoft as a fully SaaS offering does have some restrictions in that it is hosted only by Microsoft and there is no direct portal source code access.  This limits the customization options compared to legacy Adxstudio Portals.  This version of portals though is the future of portals and will continue to be iterated on by Microsoft with bug fixes, new enhanced features and always be supported.

MicroSoft Open Source Portals

Will be released as part of the July 2017 Update for Dynamics 365 and will be the exact same version that the online SaaS service uses when it launches with the July 2017 update.  It is a one-time release, and will never be updated by Microsoft with either bug fixes or new features.  Microsoft will not support this version or take pull requests allowing for contribution for the community to fix bugs.  This open source release will be under the MIT license meaning that it is 100% free and no paid license key will be required.

Open Source Portals allows for on-premises or online deployments, on any infrastructure, from any provider, or self-hosted entirely.  It also provides full source code access to MasterPortal ASP.NET Web Site as well as the framework libraries necessary to support portal functions (Adxstudio.Xrm, etc.).  This will allow for existing customizations to be ported to the latest version of portals but any modifications are only self or potentially partner supported.

Portals Roadmap*

*Roadmap is for illustration purposes of understanding portals options and is not a committed roadmap from Microsoft.   Data is based on past release schedules, both minor and major, as well as announced information.  Any future releases are only an estimate.

 

Adoxio as part of the webinar "Wondering What to do With Your Adxstudio Portal?" announced that it will create a community branch of Microsoft Open Source Portals as xRM Portals Community Edition.  This will be the definitive edition of Microsoft Open Source Portals for Dynamics 365 brought to you by a community team of Microsoft partners.  xRM Portals will managed and supported by Adoxio Business Solutions.

Learn More about xRM Portals Community Edition

What to do as a version 7 or below customer?

With the future of Portals, from Microsoft being with online services the first thing that organizations should evaluate will be the viability of taking their Dynamics platform online.  With more Microsoft data centers launched every year data residency issues can be potentially better managed and more options available.  Recently we have seen data centers launched in Canada and Germany.

If online is not an option for your organization then a proper evaulation of the long term goals and determining how your organization will be properly support ongoing portal solutions.

If you are currently on a version prior to 7 then a proper assessment of the cost of upgrading through all versions or evaluating a proper new implementation plan is highly recommended.

Customers should have a long term goal of migration to either Portals, from Microsoft (Dynamics 365 portals) or xRM Portals Community Edition to be able to be supported and have potential for fixes as well as enhancements.  The preferred long term solution is Portals, from Microsoft with Dynamics 365 online.

Upgrading from Version 7

With the goal of getting to Dynamics 365 online using Portals, from Microsoft there now respresents 2 scenarios with the release of Microsoft Open Source Portals.  Previously all upgrades were re-implementations on the new technology version but with Microsoft Open Source Portals you can use this as a stepping stone to migrating to the latest version while providing potential for maintaining existing customizations.

An item to note for legacy Adxstudio Portals looking to upgrade to Portals, from Microsoft or Microsoft Open Source Portals, that as of July 2017 are the same version (8.3).  This version is missing functionality compared to the legacy Adxstudio Portals with no Event and Conference Portal or 311 Portal.

Adoxio has developed solutions for 311 Portals with VeloCITY 365, for Event and Conference Management, Microsoft will be launching Event Management with the Business Edition of Dynamics 365.  Adoxio also has a event solution that if interested can be contacted for a demo or learn more here.

To help also provide better parity between Adxstudio Portals and Portals, from Microsoft, Adoxio also has a SaaS service Connect 365 that allows for customization through custom server side code.  Please contact us for a demo or learn more here.

Supporting Portals

Long term support for Adxstudio Portals directly from Microsoft will end in the future.  Adoxio will be providing support for version 7 customers in a restricted fashion and full support for xRM Portals Community Edition.  To learn more about support options see Support for xRM Portals Community Edition.

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