It’s official you can now customise the Office 365 login page with your own branding – ok not quite yet but Microsoft have just released a preview feature that will soon allow us to.
The dull Californian highway image that we are all accustom to can now be replaced with your own image along with your own logo and login information which is impressive in itself but these elements can also be localised for different languages. This is all achieved with a preview feature Microsoft have recently released for Windows Azure Active Directory Premium which of course underpins Office 365. Pricing for this feature is not yet available but I imagine it will be published soon.
What can be customised?
Microsoft have made the following elements of the login page customisable.
The “Banner Logo” which is displayed on the sign page and access panel.
The “Sign In Page Illustration” displayed on the sign in page to the left of the login form.
The “Sign In Page background color” visible when there is no sign in page illustration present or for low bandwidth connections.
The “Sign In Page Text” that appears below the login form and can be used to give more information to users such as where to get support.
The “Tile Logo” which is not used but might be used to replace the “organisational account” pictogram.
A “User ID Label” which again is not used but could be set to “Company email” or “User ID” .
Browse to the Active Directory page and select your Office 365 directory.
Click on the “Enable Active Directory Premium” link on the summary page.
Then from the summary page click on the “Customise your organisation’s Sign In and Access Panel pages” link where you will be able to upload your logo and other assets.
As this is a preview feature Microsoft have decided for the first few weeks of the preview that users must opt in on each device to experience the customised sign in page. To opt in you must visit https://login.microsoftonline.com/optin.srf.
Demo customised sign in pages
Microsoft have also provided to demo fictitious sign in pages that you can get access to experience a customised login page.
This post is quite a fun one. Whilst I was working with a customer today someone came up to me and asked if it was possible to add tabs to their content pages to which I gave it a few seconds thought and I responded “sure that’s absolutely possible – leave it with me!”.
I then spent my commute home thinking about how tabs could be delivered for end-users to make use of without them having to meddle around with any code. Sure getting tabs to work in SharePoint is pretty straight forward and is something we’ve all done at least on a couple of occasions but I give more thought about making it easier for the end-users to consume rather than just meeting the customers requirement by putting in a solution that isn’t pretty nor easy to use.
I eventually decided to use, what I thought was a very simple approach to giving users the option to use tabs. My solution makes use ofthe tabs from the jQuery UI (http://jqueryui.com/tabs/) library. It starts with a small modification to the master page that is currently being used. The following code should be added before the closing </head> tag.
I then added the following to the “Reusable Content” list in the root site of the Site Collection where I was adding tabs. Make sure that the “Automatic Update” is unchecked for this piece of reusable content.
Below is the code that should be added to the Reusable HTML field.
<li><a href="#tabs-1">Overtype tab 1 title here</a></li>
<li><a href="#tabs-2">Overtype tab 2 title here</a></li>
<li><a href="#tabs-3">Overtype tab 3 title here</a></li>
<div id="tabs-1">Overtype tab 1 content here.</div>
<div id="tabs-2">Overtype tab 2 content here.</div>
<div id="tabs-3">Overtype tab 3 content here.</div>
To add the tabs onto a content page you can simply select the item that has just been added to “Reusable Content” list by clicking on the “Insert” tab whilst editing the page and expanding the “Resumable Content” menu.
Rich text that represents the HTML markup for the tabs is then added onto the page. Each tab is represented by a bullet list item “<li>” and a content area “<div>”. The names of tabs you require can then be added by carefully overtyping the existing tab names. You must be careful not to introduce or remove any markup as this might prevent the tabs from working correctly.
Once you have entered the names of the tabs you can then add the appropriate content by overtyping the content that you wish to include in that tab. This content can consist of rich text such as tables, images and also web parts. Again you must be careful not to introduce or remove any markup. Any tabs that are no longer required can be carefully removed by deleting the bullet list item and content area.
There are other ways to achieve the same result but I thought this was a simple approach using out-of-the-box functionality. Happy tabbing!
Previously we did this by editing the page source or by creating lots of text files and linked them using the “Content Link” parameter in “Content Editor Web Parts (CEWP’s)”. Now we can easily embed code on a content page where SharePoint places it is in a lovely dedicated snippet section that is only visible when you edit the page.
Many people have said to me “your using WordPress for your blog but you’re a SharePoint Consultant” and my response is typical “but why must use SharePoint – I guess you also have a problem with me using a Mac?”.
Yes I do work with SharePoint – in fact it goes beyond just working with it but we won’t go there. I have developed websites for many years and typical chosen to build these on the WordPress platform – it’s adaptable and responsive to the differing requirements and yet it doesn’t need weeks of custom development. Not only that but it was built for blogging and the user interface is more in tune to writing blog posts. Secretly I knew if I used SharePoint for my blog it would become more of a job than a hobby with all the extra work it would need.
SharePoint is just not the blogging platform for me – let’s just say when I’m blogging I want the night off!