Salesforce Communities: Troubleshooting Tips

November 13, 2013 Appirio

By Dharmesh Patel and Swapna Dharmagari

This guide will help you find solutions to some of the most common issues you may be facing during your Salesforce Communities deployment. There are few things you must understand before getting started. Like any other Salesforce functionality, Communities requires licenses for your communities users. Here is more information on Salesforce Communities User License types and what content/tabs you can access.

Most common issues found with Salesforce Communities are:

Visualforce Pages

New user does not receive e-mail with the password

Visualforce Pages

Like any other features permission, what gets displayed in Salesforce Communities is also controlled by Profiles. Here are some tips on how to troubleshoot this error.

  • Make sure all the profiles, which are assigned to Communities, have permission for the Visualforce page

  • If the issue is for a Visualforce page which is exposed to Public Communities, check to see if Communities Site and Site’s Public Access Setting’s profile has Visualforce page assigned

( Site Visualforce Pages)

(Communities > Manage Communities > > Public Access Settings > Enable Visualforce Page Access)salesforce communities


Permission Issues

So, you have setup public facing Communities and users are asked to enter a username and password. This issue can be caused by any of these reasons;

  • The default landing page you selected for Site is not added to:

    • Communities Site

    • Communities Site’s Public Access Settings

    • Communities assigned Profiles

  • Do you have Data Category enabled? If so, it can be a visibility permission issue for:

    • Communities Site’s Public Access Settings

    • Communities assigned Profiles

(Setup > Manage Users > Profile > Click on Profile Name > Category Group Visibility Settings > Click on Edit for Date Category created for Communities)

New user does not receive e-mail with the password

One of the most common issues here is that your Email Deliverability settings are not setup correctly.

To verify: Setup>Administer>Email Administration>Deliverability

Make sure “Access level” is setup correctly, if you are not sure visit this help link.

User’s NickName should be Unique

If you are trying to create a community user via apex, you will encounter the uniqueness error for NickName. Be sure make it is unique. Below is one way of doing it:

portalUser.Alias = account.LastName.length() > 3 ? account.LastName.subString(0,3)


Trouble logging in to community:

There can be issues when logging in to community, make sure to check:

  1. Only community users can login with that URL, internal users should use the standard salesforce login page

  2. The profile associated to the user is related to a license type supported by the community.

Portal Users cannot own an Activity:

If any email alerts are configured to send through apex and activity logging is set, then you will hit the error “portal users cannot own activity”.

To avoid this error, write a before insert trigger on Task to update the owner of the tasks created by portal users and assign it to a system user.

Portal Users cannot send email:

Community users do not have the ability to send email. When email alerts are configured through custom coding make sure the Apex Class runs without sharing.

Issues with chatter tags on visualforce page:

There seems to be some issues using multiple chatter tags(like <apex:chatterfeed>).

“Follow” doesnt work. To fix it, separate the tags using iframes.

Some Known Limitations:

  1. Instant Messenger is not yet supported

  2. People Search returns the users within the same community. If users are not part of the selected community, search results doesn’t return any records.

  3. Some pages may not work in communities due to custom url.

  4. Static resources in VF pages will now need to include the path prefix for the VF page to work in communities.

  5. sobject API and Reports use the term ‘Networks’ instead of communities

  6. You can only mention users within same community.

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