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Oracle® Fusion Middleware User Interface Customization Guide for Oracle WebCenter Interaction
10g Release 4 (

Part Number E14110-03
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1 Introduction to UI Customization

Oracle WebCenter Interaction provides built-in customization tools that allow you to create a portal that fits the needs of all your company's users. Using the frameworks and tools provided ensures that your customizations can be retained during future upgrades. Most customizations require no custom Java or C# code. This chapter provides an overview of customization options.

For an introduction to the portal UI, see Chapter 2, "Portal Page Layout".

Customizing Portal Look and Feel

The portal UI is designed for customization. The portal includes a range of built-in solutions for customizing look and feel. These customizations are covered in Part I, "Customizing Portal Look and Feel".

Adding Logo and Branding

The header and footer portlets displayed on most portal pages usually contain the company logo and contact information. For details on building custom portlets, see the Oracle WebCenter Interaction Web Service Development Guide. Adaptive page layouts allow you to change the look and feel of the portal user interface using adaptive tags in standard XHTML For details, see Chapter 3, "Using Adaptive Page Layouts".

Modifying Portal Style Sheets

Oracle WebCenter Interaction style sheets are fully customizable. The portal comes with a selection of different options to change the style of portal pages, including a range of color schemes, fonts, and other options. The default style sheets used for each experience definition can be modified using portal administration. For details on using CSS customization with Adaptive Layouts, see Chapter 4, "Using Adaptive Styles (CSS Customization)". You can also use CSS customization with the legacy layouts; for details, see Chapter 5, "Customizing Portal Layout Using CSS - Legacy User Interface".

Customizing Page Layout and Design

Adaptive Page Layouts allow you to customize the entire portal page layout and design using tags . For details, see Chapter 3, "Using Adaptive Page Layouts". The portal CSS template file also allows you to customize the layout of the portal page, including columns, navigation tabs, banners and footers. You can modify the look and feel of individual table controls and form elements, including text box sizing, button colors and fonts. You can also use style sheets to customize portlet content and style. For details, see Chapter 4, "Using Adaptive Styles (CSS Customization)".

Changing Portal Text

All messages displayed in the portal can be customized easily by modifying the portal string files. This is a simple customization that is often overlooked in favor of more complicated methods. All text in the portal is stored in internationalized string files, including login instructions and error messages, with the exception of object names and text generated by portlets. For details and instructions, see Chapter 6, "Using String Replacement".

Creating Customized Experiences for Specific Groups

Experience definitions allow the portal to use different branding for different groups of users, including departments, product teams, or specific customers. By creating multiple experience definitions and communities, you can create focused pages and experiences for distinct groups of portal users. For an introduction to experience definitions, see the Administrator Guide for Oracle WebCenter Interaction. For more information on customizing experience definitions, see Chapter 7, "Customizing Experience Definitions".

Customizing Portal Functionality

Oracle WebCenter Interaction supports customizing and extending all aspects of portal functionality. The most common options are detailed below. These customizations are covered in Part II, "Customizing Portal Functionality".

Customizing Portal Login

The portal login page can be customized for different groups of users. A common customization is to provide different branding on the login page based on the URL used to access the portal. This allows you to provide each group of users with a seamlessly branded portal, including pages viewed as the guest user. This can be implemented easily using Experience Definitions. You can also create a custom login page using Adaptive Layouts. For information, see Chapter 8, "Customizing Portal Login".

Modifying Portal Navigation

Navigation is a key element of the portal page. Experience definitions allow you to add custom links to the navigation pane that point to community pages, documents, and web pages without writing any code. Adaptive Layouts allow you to define the navigation section of the page using tags. For details, see Chapter 9, "Customizing Portal Navigation". You can also use adaptive tags to quickly and easily create a custom navigation scheme in a header for footer portlet. For details, see the Oracle WebCenter Interaction Web Service Development Guide.

Adding New Functionality to Portal Pages

The most common way to add functionality to a page is to implement custom portlets. Basic portlets allow you to display custom HTML and content from other applications. You can also use portlets to access portal components, and build portlets that are updated dynamically based on user action and other events. For more information on portlet development, see theOracle WebCenter Interaction Web Service Development Guide.

You can also add functionality to portal components using advanced customizations. For details, see Part III, "Advanced UI Customization".

Customizing and Extending Search

Oracle WebCenter Interaction search indexes and searches all the documents, information, applications, communities, discussions, web sites and other content accessible through the portal. You can customize how search is implemented in the portal, and extend search to include enterprise content. For details, see Chapter 10, "Customizing Portal Search".

Advanced UI Customization

The basic customizations listed above require little or no custom code. If these options do not provide a solution, you can replace portal components with custom versions. The advanced customizations below require Java or C# coding. These customizations are covered in Part III, "Advanced UI Customization".

For an introduction to the inner workings of the portal UI, see Chapter 11, "Portal UI Architecture".

Adding Functionality Using PEIs

Portal Event Interfaces (PEIs) are used to execute custom actions in many places throughout the portal. For example, you can modify search queries before they are processed, or perform validation when users attempt to create new portal objects. A common PEI implementation is to require users to accept a usage agreement before being allowed to access the portal. For more information, see Chapter 12, "Using PEIs".

Customizing Pages Using View Replacement

You can completely customize the display of portal components by creating a custom version of the associated View class(es). For details, see Chapter 13, "Using View Replacement".

Adding New Pages Using Custom Activity Spaces

Activity Spaces group task-specific actions into logical sets to provide portal developers with base functionality, and combine related pages to create cohesive Model-View-Control (MVC) objects. Everything in the portal is an Activity Space: a MyPage, an administrative editor, even the Directory tree. A custom Activity Space allows you to add new pages to your portal. For details, see Chapter 14, "Creating Custom Activity Spaces". (To change existing code or add new components to existing pages, use View Replacement.)

Using Advanced UI Customization Tools and Components

Oracle WebCenter Interaction includes a collection of useful tools and components to support UI customization. For details, see Chapter 15, "Accessing Portal Objects", Chapter 16, "Adding Custom Images", and Chapter 17, "Using VarPacks (Variable Packages)".

Internationalizing UI Customizations

Oracle WebCenter Interaction is available in a wide variety of languages. The sections that follow offer step-by-step instructions for internationalizing your web services and portal customizations to make them available to all audiences.

Reference Material

For additional resources related to UI customization, see Part IV, "Appendices and Additional References".