Adding a custom theme to Communities

Community owners can customize the appearance of a community by choosing from a selection of themes that change the colors used in the community. Administrators can modify or add to the selection of default themes provided with Communities by customizing the existing themes, or by defining custom themes and adding them to the Communities configuration file, communities-config.xml.

Note: Before you customize a theme, you must install Ifix LO92109. For more information on installing Ifixes, see Updating IBM Connections 5.5 with the latest interim fix.
Note: If you are performing other customizations that apply to all the applications in IBM Connections, for example, if you are customizing the header and footer used in the product, you might need to alter or customize the themes available in Communities to ensure that they work as expected in your environment. Consider adding themes that match the customizations that you have made in other areas, for example, themes that match your customized header and footer.
To configure community themes to work with your corporate branding and best meet the needs of your organization, consider the following options:
  • No themes defined. If you remove all the community themes defined in the communities-config.xml file, your corporate branding is applied throughout the IBM Connections applications, and community owners are no longer given the option of choosing a theme when creating or editing a community.
  • Multiple themes defined. If multiple themes are defined in the communities-config.xml file, community owners can apply one of these themes when creating or editing a community. That theme then takes precedence for that community over any global customizations or branding that have been applied to all the applications.
  • One theme defined. If the communities-config.xml file contains a single theme, any corporate customizations are applied to pages that are not community-specific, for example, the Public Communities page, and that single theme is applied to all community-specific pages. Because only one theme is available, the option to choose a theme does not display when users are creating or editing a community.

If you customized community themes in an earlier version of IBM Connections, there is no migration path provided for importing your changes into IBM Connections 4 or later. Before upgrading to IBM Connections 4 or later, ensure that you review and make a note of your existing customizations to community themes so you can verify them post-migration and rework if necessary.

Note the following before creating a custom theme:

  • The correct jar file to use to obtain the Hikari theme is*.jar.
  • You must delete the TEMP and WSTEMP folders of all IBM Connections application servers (for example: “/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profiles/AppSrv01/(ws)temp/") and restart all application servers. It is not sufficient to delete the temp files of the InfraStructure cluster and restart that cluster (although both Common.ear and Communitie.ear resides on that cluster).
  • Double check that you have no typographical errors in the path name of the CSS files in communities-config.xml. Pat names must match exactly the names you use in the themes folder.
  • You can use a custom.css file within your custom theme folder to specify your theme changes so that you do not need to modify the default theme css files.
  • If you customize the Connections theme, you also need to make these changes also for every custom Community theme.

If you miss one of these steps you might end up with a community theme which looks like the Gen4 theme from IBM Connections 5.0