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Customizing the appearance of Portal pages for different roles
To illustrate how a multi-tenant portal can deliver different content to different users in different roles, the redbooks wiki team set up two different portal “looks”:
- a ‘standard’ look which is used by both the Customer placing an order and/or updating those orders as needed, as well as the Reviewer approving orders, and
- a ‘Supplier’ look which is used by a Supplier performing a fulfillment task.
To achieve the second look, the team leveraged the simple “theme customizer” facility that is out-of-the-box behavior with WebSphere Portal. This facility can be invoked in several ways:
- From the Welcome page: (See the figure below)
- From the Administration page (this is the approach the team used): (See the figure below)
- Or, if configured, from any page which provides the option as an icon (to the right of top-level navigation tabs): (See the figure below)
The Theme Customizer portlet allows you to select background colors, logos for use in the banner, and many of the standard “branding” options needed for simple theme work. In our case, the objective was to provide a theme style that could selectively be used for different roles (groups) of portal users.
We used the Theme Customizer to easily create a new “look” for the Supplier Home page, used only by Suppliers: (See the figure below)
|Note that we added a new logo as well as changing the color scheme to set this look apart from the default portal behavior. Once we had the look we wanted, we Saved the Style, which makes it available to be specified for any Page as the Theme Style in use: (See the figure below)|
Our portal is configured with three different groups having roles in our BPA process: Customers, Reviewers, and Suppliers: (See the figure below)
Setting Access Controls
The only remaining task is to specify Access Controls so that only members of the Suppliers group see the Supplier Home page. (See the figure below)
After creating a ‘SupplierHome’ page and a ‘View Order’ page under it, we configured the security settings to grant ‘User’ access to the ‘Supplier Home’ page and all pages below it for the Suppliers group only:
|Note: de-selecting the ‘Allow Inheritance’ chain for Privileged User ensures that the default setting allowing ‘All Authenticated Portal Users’ is removed; we can then explicitly grant User privileges for the Suppliers group: (See the figure below)|
At the end of these steps, we have a Supplier home page that is only presented to users in this role, and that page has a completely different look than the normal theme. We can test this by logging in as user ‘bprout’ who is a member of the Suppliers group, and navigating to the Supplier Home page to see this different theme style: (See the figure below)
|Note the different logo / banner /title as well as the different color scheme in the figure above|
Logging in as a different user (e.g.Eric Dunn ‘edunn’ who is not a member of the Suppliers group) results in a set of pages not including the Supplier Home page – it is not visible to portal users not in the role of Supplier: (See the figure below)
|Note the different branding / logo / title, the different color scheme, and the absence of the ‘SupplierHome’ page to the right of ‘Purchase orders’ page in the figure above.|
So, in addition to the BPA framework’s support for passing personalized task information to users in different roles, the portal framework also makes it easy to customize the look of the portal as desired.