SFDC Partner portal:
Who is partner:
An individual or company who has some degree of involvement in your business dealings.
E.g. You are a manufacturing company and you have dealers across the regions who help selling your products. or you have suppliers for your organization.
Why you need partner portal: As, your business and partner ( company/individual) work together on shared objectives. It will always helpful managing data through single application instead maintain data in multiple apps with different partners. This creates centralized reporting and data visibility would be better.
E.g. Partner (dealer) is working on some sales and manage sales data using your sfdc partner portal ( using opportunity/lead). It gives you better visibility on partner activities and you can provide support that sales, in case needed.
Another example is
Steps to enable Partner Portal:
Enable partner portal steps:
1) Create Account for Partner ( if does not exists already ).
2) Enable account as Partner ( to work with Portal).
Work with Portal ( Button ) => Enable As Partner
3) Create contact for partner account ( if needed )
4) Enable Contact for Partner portal login
Work with Portal ( Button on Contact screen ) => Enable Partner User
5) Once "Enable Partner Portal Login" is select on contact screen, it redirects to new user screen :
a) User license type will be (Partner : Gold/Silver)
b) Profile name would be as per your "User License" ( "Gold Partner User" / "Silver Partner User" profile )
c) select appropriate role for user.
6) Once user record get created, user receives email with login username/password. ( Make sure, you as admin connect or communicate with user with appropriate partner portal login URL). Information about partner portal is given in next step.
( In development edition, we get 5 partner portal user licenses )
7) Partner portal login URL is available on partner portal detail page.