4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2016 11:07 AM by fgomez

    Customizing Using CSS

    jhoward

      I'm new to Jive so I'm sorry for the silly question. We have an external instance that's on the cloud & I'm getting conflicting information on the use of CSS. When I asked if we could use CSS, or possibly a stylesheet, I was told nicely - but firmly - no. However, when I read thru the blogs, discussions, etc. within the jive community, I see users share CSS code w/each other.

      We have style guidelines for our documentation that include basic formatting structure; font, spacing, bullets, etc. that we were hoping not to have to apply inline every time. Can someone help me understand what I'm missing? Thanks!

        • Re: Customizing Using CSS
          John Lascurettes

          It depends on what you're talking about when you're talking theming, and which kind of customer of Jive you are.

           

          There is a Theming Tool available to all Jive customers that is mainly a configuration tool, where colors, images, custom nav elements and a few other configurable components can be tweaked via settings. The tool is available by default to any site admins under the their user menu and labeled "Themes"; it can have non-admin users (such as a marketing department) added to a user group that would grant them permission to the tool. This is an upgrade-safe method of customizing the look and feel of Jive, but it's also a light-touch method because of it, with most of the visual differences that can be had in the navigation header and in the site width and layout. There is an "Advanced Header" component where a custom header and footer may be inserted with your own HTML and CSS, but the CSS that is uploaded for this part of the app is "sandboxed" to just your custom HTML header or footer.

           

          Then there is an admin console method of customization for theming. In there, you are literally modifying templates and/or adding new CSS files and images. Effectively the sky is the limit there, but it's also costly to upgrade and prone to breakage depending on how deep the customization is. This option is only available to on-prem and hosted customers and not available to cloud customers.

           

          Jive does not recommend mixing these two methods. I'll copy-paste a bit from Amber Orenstein from Jive's Professional Services that goes into a little further detail:

          We do not recommend splitting the solution — having some theme delivered via Custom Theme and some through Theming Tool, as this can be confusing as well as problematic.

           

          This is our recommended approach that we're giving all of our clients, based on our experience with providing successful solutions.

           

          Some fundamental reasons behind this recommendation:

          • The goal of the Theming Tool is to be able to provide a basic look and feel configurations in leiu of customizing the product. All configurations made through the Theming Tool are upgrade-safe. Conversely, a Custom Theme which allows you to go beyond the basic look and feel options within the Theming Tool, will require to be upgraded for every point release or major upgrade.

            If you have customizations provided through a Custom Theme, then main reason for using the Theming Tool, to be upgrade-safe, is null, because you will require upgrades.

           

          • The Theming Tool offers basic configuration options. If you require further edits beyond what can be made in the Theming Tool, these may conflict with some configuration settings, as they are separate components.

            As a simple example of conflicting rules: Let's say you want to use a different icon for the “Create” global nav item, this would need to be accomplished through a Custom Theme. At the time of this customization and OOTB the navbar is a darker shade, so it's implemented as white. Later on if you're looking to do some style changes and you change the background navbar through the Theming Tool to a light color, you will not be able to see the custom icon as it would now be light on light.

           

          • Since these are separate components, the methods through which these are stored and provided are totally different:

            • The Theming Tool provides configuration options that are stored in the database. Much like content or other configurations stored in the database, this means you may have different configuration between your installations. Over the life of your community, you may make changes to these configurations however, there may not be any way to “revert” to a configuration setting that was used say six months ago, you just need to redo the configuration.

            • Custom Themes overlay modified templates from the core product. These overlays are deployable artifacts and can be reliably tested and deployed to your installations. Over the life of your community, these customizations are stored in version control and it is possible to revert to a customization from six months ago.

           

           

          These are a few of the reasons why we are making this recommendation, to lower the risks involved with implementing a successful UI. Of course, you may choose to assume these risks on your own and not to follow our guidance.

          3 people found this helpful
          • Re: Customizing Using CSS
            fgomez

            Hi Jessica, I created a "new idea" for Jive: More Theme Customization  I have seen many discussions from users wanting to have more control over their theme.

             

            If you like the idea I proposed, be sure to vote on it so Jive can take it into consideration!