Software systems almost never deliver the look and functionality needed to meet 100% of an organization’s needs. Each organization has a unique set of requirements which often makes it necessary to implement customizations on top of the delivered product. This principle certainly holds true with SAP BusinessObjects and especially for the front-end user portal, InfoView, which is commonly tweaked by customers.
This post will describe two of the most common and fundamental customizations which can be made to InfoView using the SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 platform. In part 2 of this series, which will be published a week after part 1, I’ll cover another common customization and a more advanced customization that adds some dynamic pizazz to the log on page, so you will want to be on the lookout for it! A brief side note: many of these customizations can also be made to Launch Pad in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0, but the procedures are much different.
Before making any customizations in InfoView, you should first consider the following best practices.
- Make Back Ups: This is the most important precautionary step, but unfortunately it’s easy to forget if you rush too quickly into a customization project. If your project requires that you modify a delivered system file in BusinessObjects, you should always make a copy of the original file before changing anything. Store the copy in a secure location and document the directory where you found the original file and the directory where you stored the copy.
- Document, Document, Document: Always keep thorough documentation – to the greatest extent possible – for all BusinessObjects customizations. Among other things, your documentation will help you to recreate any customizations which may become compromised by the installation of a new service pack.
- Restart Tomcat: Always restart Apache Tomcat using the Central Configuration Manager after implementing a new customization. In some cases, you may also need to restart the Server Intelligence Agent (SIA).
- Use Your Test Server: If possible, implement and validate customizations on your test or development server before deploying to production.
Adding a Custom Logo
I’ll begin with the most common InfoView customization: adding a custom logo to the log on page. By default, the log on page shows a simple SAP BusinessObjects logo.
To install a new logo, you must first copy the desired image file to this folder under the Tomcat directory on the BusinessObjects server: webapps\InfoViewApp\res\schema.blue. Virtually all file formats should work fine – I used .GIF.
Next, open webapps\InfoViewApp\WEB-INF and find the web.xml file. (You’re about to adjust this file, so you should first make a back up copy of the original.) Open the web.xml file in a text editor such as Notepad. Scroll through the file to find the img.logo.banner parameter. Modify the parameter value to reference your logo file preceded by an asterisk.
Save and close the web.xml file and then restart Apache Tomcat using the Central Configuration Manager. The log on page should now show your new custom logo.
Once you log in and access the InfoView portal, you will notice that the SAP BusinessObjects logo is displayed in the upper-left corner.
To change this, open the Central Management Console and navigate to Applications > InfoView > Properties. Uncheck “Display Business Objects logo” and choose the “Display custom logo” option. Type the file name of the logo image in the textbox provided. This may be the same logo you used for the homepage or a different, smaller logo. Either way, the image file you reference here must be stored under webapps\InfoViewApp\res\schema.blue on the BusinessObjects server. Click “Save & Close” to commit your changes.
The InfoView homepage should now show your new custom logo.
Changing the Title and Greeting
The default log on page for InfoView contains a generic title and greeting message. The title is the label given to the browser tab or window – it is set to “InfoView” by default. The greeting message is displayed above the username and password boxes – it displays “Log On to InfoView” by default.
Both of these settings can be adjusted. The text used for the title and greeting are defined within the web.xml file under webapps\InfoViewApp\WEB-INF on the BusinessObjects server. Open web.xml in a text editor and scroll to find the app.name and app.name.short parameters. Change the values of these parameters to any text message you want.
Save and close the web.xml file and then restart Tomcat. You should now see your custom messages displayed on the InfoView log on page.
Again, be on the lookout for part 2 of this series next week, where I will cover one more common customization and then a more advanced customization that can help you make your log on page more dynamic!