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The last month I had several issues where the customer had a blank screen on “Theme Editor”. “System Administration> Portal Display>Theme Editor.

After researching for this issue on our knowledge base, I could find one exception associated to this issue. See below the exception extracted from one defaultTrace file:

“java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: DesignManager must not be null”

The exception ‘DesignManager must not be null’ means that something went wrong during the initialization of the DesignService during the portal startup.  To troubleshoot it, the correct thing to do is find the portal startup sequence in the defaultTrace files and see what actually did go wrong.

We found for example the issues below on the designservice initialization:

Caused by:javax.naming.NameAlreadyBoundException: Object already exists:
portal_content/themes/sap_standard/ur/data/ at


PersistencyManagerException: NamingException caught while adding design
data: Object already exists: portal_content/themes/sap_highcont/portal/

This kind of issue on theme editor is usually solved by doing the steps below:

1)  Log-on to the portal as a system administrator.
Navigate to “System Administration” > “Support” > “Themes” > “Browse
Theme Database”

2) You should see an entry “portal_content/themes”

3) Expand this tree entry and you should see all of the themes installed.

4) Choose all SAP themes and press the “Delete” button to delete it.

* DO NOT delete your custom themes!!! They will not be reloaded!

5) After deleting the themes, restart the system/cluster, with only one instance and one server node active first.

* Very important:  Only the central instance should be up and running during the deletion of the themes and the restart of the J2EE engine.  Only after it is up and running, you can turn on the other  instances and they will be updated accordingly.

In few days I am preparing other topics with other known issues about blank screen on “Theme Editor”.

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    1. Fabio Sarmento Post author
      Hi Michelle,
      That is a good idea…
      I am joining here lots of issues, to see how to organise it on different topics… Once its done, I can create a wiki and include all information…

      Thanks for your suggestion.


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