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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Basic Branding - Dashboard Header

There’s a lot of talk… and confusion... surrounding the topic of branding OBIEE. There obviously isn’t much in regards to documentation as Oracle doesn’t make it a priority to show companies how to erase the Oracle name from their own product. But since I don’t really care about any of that… I’ll share some of what I know.

I’m going to outline a few simple steps you can use to change your OBIEE dashboard header. Keep in mind that this is just one of many steps required to achieve a completely branded environment. The following is a step by step guide designed to get you started:

1. Open the image file bg_header.jpg using an image editing software like Photoshop, or Fireworks. In, the location is within \OracleBI\web\app\res\s_oracle10\b_mozilla_4.

2. Modify the image as desired, but be sure to maintain the image size. I also recommend using a similar layout as the original image, as the dashboard links tend to get lost if the logo or background image is too busy. You can also crop screenshots from your company website to capture certain designs or themes.

3. Save or export this file with the same name (bg_header.jpg). Save a copy of the orginial file under a different name to revert back to if needed.

4. Depending on the color of you new header, you may need to change the color of the dashboard links located at the top center of the header. Using the Image editing software, identify the HEX code for your desired color. (white = FFFFFF, Black = 000000)

5. Open the file PortalBanner.css, and find the following entries:

  • PortalLink:visited
  • PortalLink:hover
  • PortalLink:link
  • PortalLink:active
  • CurrentPortal:link/visited/hover

6. Each of these 5 entries will have an attribute listed under names “color”. Each entry is displayed depending on the link status (visited, hover, current…etc.). The default color is the same for each situation, but you can play with these setting if you want. All you need to do is insert your new color code in place of the existing one.

7. Refresh your browser to see the changes… make adjustments if needed.

You have now completed the most basic tasks needed to brand your version of OBIEE. A completely branded style would include customized colors and images for:

  • each page tab
  • welcome text
  • product links
  • section colors
  • table and pivot table colors
  • chart colors
  • ...and the list goes on and on.

If you really feel ambitious… you can do the same to the 'Answers' and 'Delivers' areas of the software. Realistically, it isn’t feasible for a do-it-yourself-er to spend the time to identify each individual setting and redesign every detail. It would probably take months… or even years just to find everything.

Some consulting firms who implement OBIEE will do a certain level of branding, if requested. BI Consulting Group advertises a service specific to branding called IDENTITY. They have even developed a tool that pinpoints and links to each of the 20+ CSS files where the bulk of these changes are made.

Check back for future updates where I’ll cover steps on customizing other areas of OBIEE.