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Introduction


In terms of “theming” the UI Theme Designer is the newly released and newly available platform for both editing and generation. In terms of functional enhancements with the UI Theme Designer they key terms here are:


  • CSS, LESS, SAP UI5, SAP NW AS ABAP, SAP NW Portal, Usability, Flexibility


Over the last few years the UI Theme Designer is becoming more widely adopted as a result of SP Updates and System Landscape Upgrades right across the Netweaver & Portal areas. Unfortunately on some occasions as a result of system changes we come across unexpected issues and certain behaviors which can have a impact on our everyday work activities and business requirements.





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In my experiences I’ve worked on a few separate scenarios in which the UI Theme Designer posed certain issues upon attempting to utilize it for the first time.


UI Theme Designer – Blank Display

Let us take a sample scenario and use a working example of a recently performed Portal Upgrade. Upon completing the upgrade all operations and components deploying correctly but the subsequent attempt to activate the UI Theme Designer resulted in end-users encountering a blank /irj/portal page.

Obviously such behavior is a reason for concern therefore let us kick start our investigation from a high level analysis perspective and determine whether or not the issues root source can be traced to a definitive culprit.



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Begin Troubleshooting & Analysis: 3 Principles To Follow – If you encounter an issue


  1. Determine firstly if the issue happens in all web browser platforms (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla)?
  2. Did you clear the Cache after the upgrade and is every user encountering the issue?
  3. Determine if the issue occurs in both SAP Standard Themes & Custom Themes?
  4. Determine if the issue can be reproduced in all Portal Framework & Theme Combinations?

If you’ve followed the three principles above you already have a better understanding of your issue and can delve quickly into further analysis to get a solution.

Next Phase –  Check Configuration Setup, Theme Designer Activation & Retest the Scenario:

  1. Login to Netweaver Administrator (NWA) from the Desktop.
  2. http://<host>:<port>/nwa.
  3. Within the NWA, navigation to Operations > Systems > Start & Stop > Java Applications.
  4. Filter the Application List by through the ‘Name‘ field by typing ‘laf‘.
  5. Press Enter. Scroll to the ‘Portal Service Details‘ section before selecting the ‘Portal Services‘ tab followed by ‘Portal Service Configuration‘.
    • com.sap.portal.themes.lafservice” is selected automatically
  6. Change the value of the “Determine what will be the theme runtime provider” property to LESS followed by the “Save” button. Restart the portal service “com.sap.portal.themes.lafservice“.
    • Upon activating the UI Theme Designer, the Theme Editor will be deactivated,
  7. Launch the UI Theme Designer > Content Administration > Portal Display > Portal Themes > UI Theme Designer

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Is the blank page still encountered? The most likely cause if so is a UI Theme Designer discrepancy post upgrade.


How to resolve the issue

In simple terms the resolution would be to perform a Full Portal Restart (during a period of low usage statistics).



  1. Login to Netweaver Administrator (NWA)) from Desktop.
  2. http://<host>:<port>/nwa.
  3. Navigate to “Operations Management” > “Systems” > “Start & Stop“. Select the “Java EE Application” bar before selecting the relevant application in the list (Portal).
    • The “Start & Stop“: Java EE Instances Window appears.
  4. Choose”Start Service or Stop Service“. If this fails to resolve the issue the recommendation is to redeploy the EP-BASIS component SCA. If this fails to resolve the issue the recommendation is to redeploy the EP-BASIS component SCA.
    • Please restart the whole portal in case the UI Theme Designer cannot be activated accordingly.
  5. If this fails to resolve the issue the recommendation is to redeploy the EP-BASIS component SCA.
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