Monday, April 7, 2014

Custom OpenAM Login Page for new realm

March was full of activities for me. It was quarter-end for some customers and we were pushing hard to close as many deals as possible… right to the very last day of the quarter! Well, customers have money to spend, it's my job to help them spend wisely. :)

Of course, how can life be exciting without some running? Mid-March, I took a few days off to Hong Kong for TransLantau50 - a super challenging 50km trail race.

Once the quarter was closed, I flown off to Thailand to visit another customer. They already have OpenAM deployed a year ago and are looking to extend their SSO infrastructure to external users. With this new requirement, a new realm is recommended. They also want a totally different look-and-feel for the external users.

Can it be done easily in OpenAM? Why not?

The latest OpenAM Documentation explains it all. See To Copy the Pages to Customize For Another Realm.

In OpenAM mailing list, there are questions on why customization does not work every now and then. I think the trick is now following the instructions carefully. The technical writer said it all. I help to summarize below:

Modify appearance if you must by editing the .jsp, image, and CSS files without changing any of the JSP tags that govern how the pages work. 
Modify the localized text, using UTF-8 without escaped characters, by changing only the original text strings in the .xml files. 
If necessary, restart OpenAM or the web container to test the changes you have made.

I also like the section on How OpenAM Looks Up UI Files. It explains very clearly how the codes go about finding customized UI files.

OpenAM tries first to find the most specific file for the realm and local requested, gradually falling back on less specific alternatives, then on other locales. 
The first and most specific location as follows.

Great stuff!


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