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Portal *layout* customization in UAG RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am trying to customise the layout of the portal pages - I know of the changes in Technet etc to hide the left bar, top har, toolbar etc, but I want to rearrange the look of the whole page.  However, I am having an almighty battle with changing the DIVs' positioning in CSS (no help from IE & Firefox layout differences!).

    I have spent a couple of hours on this, playing with DIV positioning etc, but not really in huge depth as every change I made caused odd effects.  DIVs within tables within DIVs etc...I spent about an hour trying to stop the main content window overflowing off the bottom of the page acheiving only some loss of sanity

    Has anyone made wholesale changes to the layout of the Portal?  Does it work well or are there gotchas?

    And is this beyond the support boundary for UAG (the technet article is unclear on how far you can go)

    Thanks, --Chris

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 11:12 AM

Answers

  • Hi Chris,

    Customizing UAG's portal pages is tricky, because it has multiple style elements, as well as ASPX code. I would say that this should be within the scope of a VERY experienced web designer (I'm talking about the old-schoolers, who can actually WRITE html, and not only manipulate WYSIWYG objects), so maybe you just need to brain-storm this with someone.

    As for supportability, customizations beyond what the documentation instructs are not supported.


    Ben Ari
    Microsoft CSS UAG/IAG Support
    Sammamish, WA
    • Marked as answer by Erez Benari Friday, July 30, 2010 6:20 PM
    Friday, July 30, 2010 6:20 PM

All replies

  • Hi Chris,

    Customizing UAG's portal pages is tricky, because it has multiple style elements, as well as ASPX code. I would say that this should be within the scope of a VERY experienced web designer (I'm talking about the old-schoolers, who can actually WRITE html, and not only manipulate WYSIWYG objects), so maybe you just need to brain-storm this with someone.

    As for supportability, customizations beyond what the documentation instructs are not supported.


    Ben Ari
    Microsoft CSS UAG/IAG Support
    Sammamish, WA
    • Marked as answer by Erez Benari Friday, July 30, 2010 6:20 PM
    Friday, July 30, 2010 6:20 PM
  • Hi Ben, thanks for that.  I was programming HTML when I had to use Edit, Netscape Navigator, Apache and Lycos, so thats pretty old school.  I have been programming for 25 years so I feel OK tackling this problem.

    Please can you unmark this as answered as it did not answer the question, unless you intentionally do not want this information on the forum.  I was hoping for an answer telling me what I can and cannot do with DIVs, eg that I actually only need a DIV with class xyz and include a b and c files to have a working portal.  Not every element of UAG customisation is documented, and I know that boundaries are wider than just what is on technet.  I believe the .master file is editable and I am sure that the CSS is editable..

    I do have access to Professional Services in the UK and Premier Support, whom I'm sure you know well too, but I have a strange relationship with Microsoft whereby MS pay internally for any PS I use and as such our TAM finds it nigh on impossible to get hold of, hence I utilise the forums a lot.

    Thanks, --Chris

    Friday, July 30, 2010 10:06 PM
  • I was hoping for an answer telling me what I can and cannot do with DIVs, eg that I actually only need a DIV with class xyz and include a b and c files to have a working portal.  Not every element of UAG customisation is documented, and I know that boundaries are wider than just what is on technet.  I believe the .master file is editable and I am sure that the CSS is editable..

    Thanks, --Chris

    Hi Chris,

    The boundaries of supported web-content customizations in UAG are actually simple to define: if you can do it in a CustomUpdate customization, then it's supported. Another supported customization is for some very specific resources where the UAG management console allows you to specify a new file, instead of the default one (i.e. the Login and the Error page).

    Other than these, other changes are not supported. True, there is nothing stopping you from modifying one of the default files that UAG comes with, but besides those changes not being backed-up, and not being replicated across UAG array members, they are also not supported.

     

    Regards,

    -Ran

    Saturday, July 31, 2010 11:03 AM
  • Appreciated..but for a start the CSS is editable and that goes in CustomUpdate.  I also think I saw details on Technet about updating the .master file in the portal too?
    Sunday, August 1, 2010 6:03 PM
  • I never said they weren't, Chris. Indeed, the CSS is customizable via a CustomUpdate folder, and so is the .master file. You can find references to these under the http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607389.aspx section, and to be more specific, customizing the Standard.master file is mentioned in these articles: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee861154.aspx and http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee861172.aspx

     

    Regards,

    -Ran

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010 3:08 PM
  • Chris:   We've had to revamp the layout.   Here is our experience.

    At first we tried to change the css.   It turned out to be very involved.  So, we dropped that approach.

    Then we tried the other extreme, to completely create our own portal web application that would paint the UAG links (Can't locate the article (by Tom Shinder?) right now, which described how to do it for IAG. We found that article very helpful).  We found that we were investing a lot of time getting functionality like logoff, timeout behavior etc that comes bundled with the portal.

    We have now settled on a hybrid approach. We published our custom portal web application within the portal frame.  We then hid the headers and the navbar from the portal frame completely.  This is giving us the best of both worlds.

    This approach seems to be holding up for us.   (P.S.  We haven't gone fully live with it yet. So, I wouldn't say this is time tested, yet).

    Hope this helps.  When you decide,  kindly also post what you decide to do.   Would love to learn from your experience.

     

     

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:14 PM
  • SuperNarean, sorry just realised I never thanked you for replying!  How did it go when you went live?

     

    Thanks

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 9:40 AM
  • Zuzzy.   It seems to be holding up well.   No complaints on that yet. 
    Friday, February 4, 2011 7:29 AM
  • Cool, thanks
    Friday, February 4, 2011 10:33 AM
  • You might want to check out the Portal Branding WYSYWG editor if you are still having difficulty.   You can make the majority of typical customizations in a couple minutes this way.   This tool will replicate your changes across the array as well.

    http://portsys.com/index.php/products/portsys-tac/core-control/portal-branding



    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 11:41 PM
  • Not usually a fan of commercial 'answers' to posts but thats a genius idea.

    Shame its not open source 'for the community' ;)

    Thursday, March 31, 2011 9:51 AM
  • Well, we are offering it for free through the following link:

    http://www.portsys.com/index.php/free-portal-branding-for-uag

    Monday, June 3, 2013 9:28 PM