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Author's profile photo Noël Hendrikx

Portal theming – also waited a couple of years?


For almost 10 years I am struggling with the portal theme editor. My expertise is building a userfriendly portal for endusers, integrating information with transactions and corporate styleguides. Developing custom frameworks and adjusting portal themes with the portal theme editor is a daily business and in my opinion a must have for every mid-large scale organisation. It was always hard to find the correct elements in the theme editor. Recent project I did a 7.3 implementation and new elements in the theme editor didn’t work properly. Unzipping the theme, replacing images, changing properties files (this is NOT supported!) and searching for ur.designpart and ls.designpart for the correct classes is quite hard and a risky business. As an example:



Homepage with KM content and shortcuts to tasks (Facility domain)


Landing page with easy navigation.


A webdynpro ABAP application in the same style.


To accomplish this, F12 is my best friend (Debugger in browser).




At SAP Teched Madrid last year I have been asked by Thomas Hensel to join a feedback session for the upcoming theme editor. Since I joined the Portal 7.3 beta program also, I said without any doubts I’d love to help.


Two day workshop – New UI theme designer in SAP Netweaver scenarios

So last week I joined the workshop. Thanks to Bertram Ganz and many, many die hard specialists from Walldorf we had a superb workshop of the new stand-alone theme editor for all technologies.


We had handson sessions for theming in NWBC, ABAP/FPM, SAPUI5, Portal and cross theming. Also maintenance was presented.

A lot of feedback has been given and priorities have been given from the participants. Maybe information will be posted in a later stage.


Findings in general:

+ You can add your own html applications and preview them in the preview pane. On the righthand side you can change the properties in Quick (really easy), Expert (css classes – power users) and CSS mode (hardcore branding);

+ Theming is across different technologies in one tool;

+ LESS support;

+ Fast compilation and results – instead of waiting a couple of minutes in the current theme editor;


For more information: > UI-Addon 1.0 SP04 – release notes – section 3


Everything is ofcourse subject to change, the tool is not released yet so keep an eye on it. If you use theming, this will be your next step into easier theming / branding.



Noël Hendrikx – SAP Portal consultant @ Peppie Portals.

Specialized in Corporate branding SAP Portal / Adobe Interactive Forms.


UI Theming blog series

Portal theming – also waited a couple of years?

How to… UI Theme Designer – Installation

How to… UI Theme Designer – Migration

How to… UI Theme Designer – Locating elements

How to… UI Theme Designer – Transportation

How to… UI Theme Designer – Make use of the Custom CSS tab in the Portal!


Theming continued @ HCP:

Theming – the story continues (Cloud Platform)


Other blogs:

Tired of zipping / unzipping portal theme?

Tips for the Portal Content Studio

DSM Terminator and popup blockers (or not)

My best development friend – Autoresponder FTW


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      Author's profile photo Benjamin Houttuin
      Benjamin Houttuin

      Nice work Noël.... so our VNSG Ideaplace effort finally did pay of!

      Author's profile photo Tobias Hofmann
      Tobias Hofmann

      Finally 😆

      Generally, the portal theme can be outsourced to get full control, but that's not the same as using an official solution with support.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      It seems promising, rly nice work!

      Author's profile photo Noël Hendrikx
      Noël Hendrikx
      Blog Post Author

      The above images is with the old-fashioned theme made, not with the new editor. But thanks for the compliment 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Just great thing...Noël!

      Theming/Branding is always PORTAL customer's BIG choice during the it's Implementations!

      And as you've pointed.. its not always an EASY thing to DESIGN/IMPLEMENT/MAINTAIN the themes to the current UI innovation!

      Would look fwd for more updates (Official Launch)!


      Naga Devisetty (MS)

      Author's profile photo Noël Hendrikx
      Noël Hendrikx
      Blog Post Author

      Branding is in most cases the last thing a customer thinks about. Why worry spending time and money for endusers. I always hear standard SAP in many projects, but the end users are always forgotten.

      I am happy a lot of customers see that branding and integrating information into your portal at the right spot - e.g. information about the process - becomes much more important.

      Selling standard SAP is old fasioned in my opinion (at least for the front-end).

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      For those who are looking for additional arguments to justify the effort required to customize your portal framework and branding, look into leveraging accessibility (see W3C site here) requirements for your web content.  As a large employer, we were required to abide by a certain number of government issued guidelines regarding such issues as color, contrast, font size as well as compatibility with web readers for the visually impaired.  These requirements provided the basis for a project to review update and harmonize our intranet and portal themes.

      Author's profile photo Lev Kulaev
      Lev Kulaev

      Hello Noël!

      Nice work!

      Can you please give some clarification? You've mentioned portal but said nothing about WD Java applications. Will it possible to apply custom themes to WDJ applications as they can be included in Portal? Is there any plans for it?

      Thanks and Regards,


      Author's profile photo Noël Hendrikx
      Noël Hendrikx
      Blog Post Author

      All SAP UI technology should work. WDJ uses the portal stylesheet, so you can customize that one too!

      I did some theming for NWBC, SAPUI5, portal application and WD ABAP.

      You can preview your own application and use your own theming.



      Author's profile photo Noël Hendrikx
      Noël Hendrikx
      Blog Post Author

      Dear all,

      Just to let you know I have written a new blog for using the UI Theme Editor.

      Check out part one: How to... UI Theme Designer - Installation

      Have fun!