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Author's profile photo Sharath M G

A simple (How-To) guide to Portal Desktop and Rules collection


Portal desktops and Rule collection are the central pivots around which the content display is configured in SAP NetWeaver Portal. There are many documents elaborating the concepts and also its usage in SDN. However, its potential is rarely realized partly due to SAP’s imaginative configuration control.  This document is my attempt to simplify the steps to build a portal solution which will fulfill business requirement and also enthuse portal users.


Initially, let us have a quick refresh of the portal display concepts’ definition by SAP.


            Portal Framework Page:

A framework page contains the core iViews and pages that are required by a user to operate and navigate the portal. A typical framework page includes the following components:  header area, navigation areas (for example, the top-level navigation area and the navigation panel), content area.

Portal Theme:

A portal theme defines the visual appearance of the control elements, font size, colors, and contrast of the user interface elements.  A portal theme does not define the layout, structure, or contents of a portal desktop.

Portal Desktop:

A portal desktop is a collection of framework pages and portal themes, which is defined and customized by content administrators, and ultimately assigned to portal users through portal display rules. A portal desktop defines the structural layout and design of the portal workspace displayed on the screen. It is a structured collection of iViews, pages, themes, and layouts

Portal Rule Collection:

A Portal Rule Collection is set of conditions defined by a portal administrator determining which portal desktops are assigned to portal users/group at runtime in SAP NetWeaver Portal.

Step by Step – Configuration:

     Pre – requisites:

You must have the administrator privileges to following function with authorization for relevant actions:

Identity Management:

      • Create Portal Groups
      • Assign Groups to Portal users

            System Administration:

      • Create Portal Desktop
      • Create Rule Collection
      • Modify the Master Rule Collection

    Business Requirement:

                The customer ACME Inc(A fictitious organization) has an SAP NetWeaver portal with content accessible to both internal and external users. The management would like to customize the content display according to internal and external users due to the limitations of the bandwidth and users IT experience. The management requires a superior interface for internal IT users and a simpler interface for the external Factory users. The management would like to avoid any manipulation to existing portal identity management – roles/groups structure.


                The business requirement shall be fulfilled as follows:

                Step 1: Create two separate portal desktops for internal and external users.

      • Create a Folder to hold your display content ( Optional )


      • Create the portal desktop for the internal users of ACME Inc.


      • Assign the AJAX framework page to the internal users display desktop. This framework page gives more features to the users.

                         Note: In the image, you can see AJAX Portal Desktop. We can always use the portal desktops provided by default in the rule collection (rule                                    creation is handled in step 3).


      • Assign the portal theme: custom theme or default themes to the internal users display desktop.



                         Repeat the steps for External Users display. However, add light framework page to the desktop. Light Framework page is designed for external facing portal content users.


                Step 2: Create a Portal group for internal and external users.  Also, create a group which will be the parent group to handle the display rules.

  • Parent Group: ACME User Group


  • Individual Groups: ACMEInternalUser; ACMEExternalUser.

          Please observe the tab Assigned Parent Groups, in which the ACME User Group is assigned to both the groups.


Steps 3: Create a custom Rule collection for ACME Inc management’s display rules.

  • Update the IF condition with the condition for the newly created portal group. Click Apply button to update the entry.


     Add the desktop for the rule by selecting the THEN condition line and right-click on the relevant desktop under Portal Content.

     Remember, to click Apply button after the assignment to reflect the changes. Click Save to confirm Rule Creation.


                Step 4: Update the Master Rule Collection with the new display rule of ACME Inc.

  • Open the Master Rule collection ( main_rules ). Path: Portal Content -> administrator -> Super Administrators


     In the THEN clause, choose the option:

     THEN     Rule Collection  =             ACMEDisplayRule. Right click on the rule to add the entry into the field.


     Save the results.

Test the Results:

  • Internal User: InternalACME and External User: ExternalACME.



  • Login as External User: The user is presented the portal in a light framework page


  • Login as Internal User: The user is presented the portal in Ajax framework page



Portal Display Rule is a powerful concept in SAP NetWeaver Portal. Please explore the full potential by providing the solution based on the Portal Desktops and Rule Collections.

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      Author's profile photo Muhammad Ilyas
      Muhammad Ilyas

      this is real helpful, else you keep keep reading tons of docs on EP for similar scenarios.

      Author's profile photo Sharath M G
      Sharath M G
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you.