In our in-place upgrade to AX 2012 R3, we found some issues with Enterprise Portal in our validation phase of the project. Namely, the EP Role Center was not available within the client, despite all of the parameters and web site settings being correctly entered. If we were to visit the EP site via a browser, it loads and we can successfully request new vendors, requisitions, expense reimbursements.
However, the Role Centers were not displaying within the client. Instead, we would only see the Home module Area page. When visiting the System Admin Module -> Common -> User Profiles and trying to view them in browser, we received an error that the home page URL was not setup.
This message stems from the EPGlobalParameters table, homepageSiteURL() method:
Here you'll see there is a check for SysCheckList_Upgrade::isUpgradeMode() which looks at your SysSetupLog table. Often times, the checklists are not fully completed in R2/R3 because of the external compiler axbuild.exe so we never truly finish all of our checklist steps within the client.
If you need to evaluate the role centers within the client while performing your upgrade, use the Prevent Checklist Startup menu item under System Admin -> Setup -> Checklists:
Hitting this option will place a few extra records in your SysSetupLog for your upgraded AX version which will allow EP to load within your client: