An Oracle blog about PeopleSoft Technology

Branding PeopleSoft Using Macro Sets

Matthew Haavisto
Product Management Director

One great aspect of the Fluid user interface is that it's easy to apply branding.  Most enterprises have spent some significant effort defining their brand.  So it makes sense that customers want to apply their enterprise brand to their PeopleSoft System so users see that brand.  

Before Fluid was introduced, branding was not a simple process and accomplishing it took specialized development and design skills.  Many customers deployed the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub (formerly called the PeopleSoft Portal) to provide a rich web site through which they exposed PeopleSoft application content to their users. Customers would then apply their enterprise branding to that web site.  This was effective, and many customers deployed some beautifully branded sites.  The drawback was that few customers had the design and portal development skills in house, so most engaged specialty consulting firms to design, build, and deploy their portals.  Although the results were good, that could be costly.  Fluid is much easier to brand, and it doesn't require special skills.

PeopleTools provides branding capabilities that are powerful and flexible.  You can apply your enterprise colors, logos, icons, and other UI elements to the look and feel of your PeopleSoft application. Many common branding tasks, including managing definitions and objects associated with the overall style are performed online using Macro Sets. Note that branding tasks can be performed using Application Designer, but most branding efforts will not require that, so I'm focusing on Macro Sets here.

Branding Process

The key branding definition is the Theme. A theme is a collection of styles that give your PeopleSoft applications a distinctive appearance.  This can include color schemes, company logos, or images that represent your enterprise. Themes are composed of many elements (some of which are optional).  You set appearance branding attributes within Macro Sets. A Macro Set is a collection of macros that are used by the style sheets in the theme to determine the distinctive appearance of your theme. Macros are like parameters, and their values can be set using theme Macro Sets.

Although Macro Sets are easy, branding is still an important process, and you'll want to have your enterprise's branding staff determine what changes are to be made.  This includes analyzing what changes will be made to reflect your brand.  Here's a basic look at the process:

Once you've done your analysis and decided which elements you want to change, you'll use Macro Sets to apply those changes.  In this article, we'll focus on that step in the Update process shown above. Navigate to the Macro Set page: PeopleTools > Portal > Branding > Theme Macro Set.

First, we recommend cloning the default Macro Set and making your changes to the clone, which you will rename.

Click on the link of your new Macro Set to make your changes.

In the Macro page, you can make changes to the appearance of almost any element of your Fluid user interface.  Notice that there are 218 different elements of your Fluid UI that can be changed with Macro Sets!  Don't fret, though, most branding will not involve so many changes, and most customers simply change the background and header colors to reflect their enterprise brand. Another popular change is including your company logo in the header and adding your own icons. In addition, you may want to change a few other things like font or button colors to match.  You can export the Macro Grid to a spreadsheet.  This can make it easier to analyze which macros you want to change. Any macros that you don't change will simply remain the same as the default set.

Once you've made your changes to your new Macro Set, you apply it to your newly created theme.

Note that you can also assign different themes with different Macro Sets to different user communities.  You may, for example, brand things differently for employees than you would for suppliers, vendors, students, faculty, or any user group or role.

Using the Custom Banner

Another feature that enables you to further display your distinctive enterprise brand is the Custom Banner.  This enables you to introduce a banner above the Fluid header that can include colors, logos, images, and other things like links and icons.

Use the Define Headers and Footers page to create and maintain header and footer definitions by adding the custom banner to the tree structure.  Here is where you add your custom banner: PeopleTools > Portal > Branding > Define Headers and Footer

Open the customer banner and specify it's contents using the rich text editor page. Note that once you've created a custom banner, you can optionally modify it using Macros including its background color, bottom border, banner-specific style sheets, and so on.  There are many macros available for custom banners.

For a complete description of all the branding options provided by PeopleTools see PeopleBooks here. PeopleBooks also provides a detailed description of the branding process. There is also a Spotlight video on branding.  This video was produced for PeopleTools 8.55, but most of the information is still relevant for the current release. 

PeopleTools branding features are simple to use and enable you to make your PeopleSoft applications reflect your important company branding.  Give it a try.

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