Customer Portal

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  • Skawn

    Hi Shiloh,


    I've been having the same issue.  The ultimate answer is that you can't configure Ask a Question to work unless the customer is logged in.


    You can ease the process by bringing both the log in link/form and a 'new user' form onto the AAQ page.


    This allows a new customer to create an account and Ask a Question at the same time.


    It doesn't allow a user who currently has an account to ask a question unless they are logged in though.


    I contemplated changing all the login screens to remove the password field, disabling all the my stuff /account pages and deleting all customer passwords which would kinda work but it's a bit of a case of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.


    More info here:



    This is how mine looks after applying the customisation suggested by eturner in that thread.  If only the 'New Customer' form would also work if an existing customer used it it'd be ideal!


  • Skawn

    Thanks for the feedback.  Thats going to cause me some issues!


    Any idea when we might see that functionality?  I'd be tempted to wait until we can support this rather than try a less than ideal work around.

  • Shiloh Madsen

    This worked great...thanks!


    On a related note, I have been changing widget style via <style> tags at the beginning of the view. I notice that none of the current widgets seem to either have a linked stylesheet or styles on the widget itself. What is the hierarchy that is giving the widgets their look and feel? Is it all coming from the page template in which they are contained? 

  • Ernie Turner
    Unfortunately there isn't currently a way to set up the systems so it will take email addresses on existing accounts and automatically attach the incident to them. We are working on pretty much the exact solution you are asking for however. We realized a use case we were missing was customers who want users to be able to ask questions, but don't necessarily want/need them to log in with the accounts they create.
  • Skawn

    So close and yet so far!


    That works really well for new customers.


    It's going to cause existing customers an issue though - since they don't know they have accounts (since we don't currently require a log-in), anyone who has an existing account will try to use the new form area rather than the log in link which will give them an error when they try to submit (email already in database).


    Is there any way to mimic the behaviour I have on v7.5 where entering details in there creates an account for new users and links the incident onto an existing account for existing accounts (this presumably still happens for email)?


    We already have extranet services that require log in details so I'm very reluctant to have a seperate set of independant user credentials for our RightNow implementation.  I know I could get round this using pass thru auth but I don't have the budget to implement this at the moment.

  • Skawn

    What a week!


    Finally had time to have a go at this today.


    It's looking great, thanks for the help.




    EDIT: Just in case anyone else finds this thread and finds it useful, the final step needed was to change login_required="true" to false in the meta tags at the top of ask_confirm.php as we did at the start for ask.php

  • monique perkins

    Since you want it to look different in places your best option is to copy the widget view.php file(s) into a new widget(s).  If you leave the standard controller and logic in the meta tag then they should have the same functionality.


    Rename the css classes and create css / html that does what you want. You should be able to use css to replace the image in the button too. 

  • Ernie Turner

    I've just learned that the code example I've given doesn't work very well in IE because of the <form> within a <form> tag. Here is new code that should work.

  • david fulton

    Hey Shiloh - interesting use case. It shouldn't be a major issue to deal with through a custom widget - it just sounds like instead of one hidden div containing the feedback form, you probably need two of them - as long as they essentially submit the same kind of data, it sounds like most of the work is in changing the view and some work changing the logic to support the additional events - the only change I can think of to your model is probably to support that incident custom field addition.


    Have a look at the out of the hidden divs (you'll also want to look at the out of the box CSS for that object as it may control the placement and visibility of the form object) and work from there.

  • Skawn

    That looks close enough to me - I'll give it a try on Monday when I'm back in the office.

  • Ernie Turner

    Attaching file "display.png" (23KB)

  • Ernie Turner

    There is a way to do something similar to what you are hoping to accomplish, but it won't be exactly like the way it works on your 7.5 site. The key here, is to make the Ask a Question page contain both incident and contact fields on the same form. That way, a user can both create an account and ask a question on the same form. I'll go through a step by step conversion process.


    1. Remove the login_required="true" meta tag from the ask.php page. This will allow non-logged in users to access the page.


    2. On the ask.php page, add a section that allows users to either log in, or create a new account, and only show this section if the user is not logged in. For example, the code I added is in the first image below (added code in white). This code will give users who have an account the ability to log in (which will refresh the  page), and users who do not have an account to create a new one with login, name, and email.


    I've done a screenshot below of what the new page should look like on your site.


    3. Optionally, you might also want the user to fill out additional contact information other than just what is on this form after their account/incident is created. In that case you can change the 'on_success_url' attribute of the FormButton widget to point to "/app/account/profile". When you do this though, you probably only want to redirect them there if they are just creating an account, so you can do that by something like this:


        <rn:widget path="standard/forms/FormButton" label="#rn:msg:CONTINUE_ELLIPSIS_CMD#" on_success_url="/app/ask_confirm" />

        <rn:widget path="standard/forms/FormButton" label="#rn:msg:CONTINUE_ELLIPSIS_CMD#" on_success_url="/app/account/profile" />


    That should mostly accomplish what you want I think. Let me know if you have any other questions on this conversion.


    Note: The example I've mocked up here was done on the August '08 version of Customer Portal.



  • monique perkins



    It's easiest to keep the same name.  The preceeding steps are if you want to change the name of the page entirely.  There is always a backup copy in views/default/pages if you need it.

  • Shiloh Madsen
    Ok, that makes sense. I will do that and get back to you. Alternatively, could I just backup detail.php and then make changes directly to it?
  • monique perkins

    There are a few places you will want to change in order to use a completely new page.


    1 - There is a config CP_ANSWERS_DETAIL that lets you specify your primary detail page.  This is used to provide links in incidents, as well as create the link in the report.  If you change it to your new page you should get the new links - 

    CAUTION: - if you are on a live site this will change the production version as well


    2 - If you want to change just the report link you can go into the analytics console, copy the CP answers report, and change the url. (Right click on the column -> format -> ur)


    3 - You will aslo want ot copy the answersSearchArea widget and change the reportId and report_page to the new items.