The Customer Portal is the company’s customer support interface, where customers can search for information, submit questions to the support team, request chat sessions or even ask the peer-to-peer community (if there is one) for help. Normally the Customer Portal is embedded on the company’s website.
The configuration of the Customer Portal is done by editing Templates, Pages, and Widgets which are part of the site. So it is important to understand the structure of the Customer Portal. Other Customer Portal configurations can be done through the Admin interface (aka Agent Desktop or Console).
Before going deeper on the Customer Portal stuff, it is important to keep in mind the following:
- There is something called the reference implementation that is the set of default pages and files that make up the Customer Portal as it exists before you configure and customize it. There are two default reference implementations: one for the standard pages (desktop browsers) and one for display on mobile devices.
- To create or customize the Customer Portal pages, you will need a WebDav client to download/upload the files, and you will use a text editor to edit the files.
- To set up other functionalities – such as SmartAssistant and search options – you will use the Admin interface (aka Agent Desktop or Console)
Customer Portal File Structure
As stated before the templates, pages, widgets, and other assets used to create the Customer Portal are available through WebDAV.
The customer portal uses WebDAV to help you manage your website files. WebDAV offers a familiar file structure, easy uploading and downloading of multiple files, and file security through login access. After you set up a WebDAV connection to upload and download files, you can use any text editor you want to create and edit files for your customer portal, or you can use Adobe Dreamweaver, which uses its own WebDAV protocol for site management and configuration (Oracle recommends using Cyberduck for WebDAV access to Customer Portal files)
Important Note: You must enable MOD_CP_DEVELOPMENT_ENABLED before you can make changes to your development site. If you do not enable this setting, you cannot make changes to your customer portal and your customers will see the default reference implementation with no customization.
To view the Customer Portal files from the Customer Portal Administration site, using a URL:
- In a web browser, type http://<your_site>/dav.
- If you have not already logged on to the Customer Portal Administration site, enter your RightNow user name and password.
- Click the cp link to display the folders.
- Click the folder you want to display files for and continue drilling down through subfolders to display the file you want.
- When you click an individual file name, it will open
Important Note: Although it is possible to edit files directly on the server, it is recommended downloading files to the local workstation, making changes locally, and then uploading them back to the server.
The Customer Portal contains four sets of pages, each of which can be viewed from the Customer Portal Administration site.
- Development files: These are the files to work with when you want to make changes to the Customer Portal. They cannot be seen by the customers until you stage and promote them. The page and template files are in the /cp/customer/development/views folder, and the custom widgets are in /cp/customer/development/widgets/custom.
- Staging files: After editing the development pages, you can stage them, which means they are compiled and optimized to look and perform as they will on the production site. These files, located in /cp/generated/staging, are not editable, nor are they visible to the customers.
- Production files: The production files, located in /cp/generated/production, have been promoted from the staging site and are visible to the customers.
- Reference implementation files: These are the default, read-only files that make up the original customer portal reference implementation before you modify them. They are located in /cp/core/framework/views and /cp/core/widgets. If you’ve made changes to one of your development files that you don’t want to keep, you can revert to the original file by copying the original from its reference implementation folder and pasting it to the appropriate subfolder in /cp/customer/development, effectively overwriting your changes.