What to consider when changing the portal look and feel with a custom framework page
today I would like to talk about what to keep in mind, when you are using a custom framework page. In the last years, we set up some demo portals with real nice look and feel, quite different from the standard, e.g. the following ones.
There are some nice blogs out there on SCN that give you lots of tipps and information how to setup your own custom portal look and feel, but there is also a very comprehensive wiki page that contains links to blogs for beginners and experienced users and that I highly recommend for all that are interested in this topic.
So, you can easily find lots of resources with lots of options how to set up a cool UI, but there are also some things to keep in mind, especially if you are using some of our add-ons that complete the portal, e.g. Enterprise Workspaces or SAP Portal Content Management by OpenText.
- Enterprise Workspaces:
a. Enterprise Workspaces use their own flex and html styles to define their appearance. Therefore, in most cases, it will be necessary to adapt the standard appearance to fit your new portal branding. Otherwise, the standard bluish Workspace directory might look quite strange in a reddish portal.
You can find help on creating a new flex or html style in the Enterprise Workspaces documentation or read the blog about Enterprise Workspaces – Mobile Homepage Branding on SCN, which explains editing HTML styles in detail. The focus is on mobile, but the description works for all HTML UIs.
b. Adding the Tab Strip: The Tab Strip is a control that enables the user to create and open different pages in a workspace and to access administration pages. If you create a custom framework page, you have to make sure it contains the tab strip at the right location. See the documentation on how to do it.
c. Some additional configuration steps are necessary to make your custom framework page run with Enterprise Workspaces, see the documentation for details.
2. SAP Portal Content Management by OpenText
Most elements of the PCM look and feel automatically adapt to the portal look and feel, since they are built in Web Dynpro. But there are some pieces like pop-ups or the dialog window when creating a discussion that are determined by the Content Server appearance. These appearances define the look of the Content Server.
With PCM delivery, you get an appearance that optimally fits the portal theme SAP Tradeshow Plus and that is automatically mapped to it, so you do not have to care about that. But, as soon as you are using a theme different from Tradeshow Plus, there is no more preconfigured mapping, but the default is used which might not work correctly with your portal. In this case, you should map your theme to the same appearance as the SAP Tradeshow Plus theme and then check if that fits to your new theme in terms of colors. Otherwise, you would need to create your own copy of the SAP appearance, adapt it to your needs and then map it to your theme. This can be easily done by adding the mapping to the configuration file opentext.ini. In PCM documentation you can find more details about that topic.
3. Using Flex Framework
When the framework page is Flex, it might happen that parts of the Top Level Navigation are hidden behind the main page content, e.g. if you are using drop down lists for the second level navigation. In these cases,try wrapping the drop-down as a portal component and it will stay on top.
If this blog was interesting to you, please check out the other blogs in my series about creating sites with SAP NetWeaver Portal.
Wishing you success with building your own custom portal framework,