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(T0222) How should I make changes to my Tech Portal or Customer Portal?

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Note: this article is for ServiceLedger 2008 and later. If you have an earlier version of ServiceLedger, the following information may only partially apply or may not apply at all.

ServiceLedger has designed the Tech Portal and Customer Portal products to strike a balance between easy updates and easy alterations. If you wish to make changes to the stock appearance or behavior of these portals, you should first understand how the ServiceLedger Updater affects these products and what the best ways are to keep your changes compatible with our updates.

Information for Standard Modifications

Most files in the tech and customer portals are automatically kept up-to-date by the updater. Every time you run a ServiceLedger update, these files will be replaced with the most recently downloaded versions. Once again, every time you update, most tech and customer portal files will be replaced. If you make changes to any of these files, they will be lost every time you update.

In order to promote easy configuration and page style changes, some files are not replaced during each update. You are free to modify these files on your own and will not lose your changes. These files, along with their purpose and use, are:

In the Tech Portal

  • global.asa - configuration settings
  • permissions.asp - permission settings
  • settings.aspx - configuration settings
  • style.css - styles that control appearance (fonts, sizes, colors, backgrounds, etc) of entire portal
  • utility/header.aspx - header at the top of each page in the portal

In the Customer Portal

  • settings.aspx - configuration settings
  • style.css - styles that control appearance (fonts, sizes, colors, backgrounds, etc) of entire portal
  • header.aspx - header at the top of each page in the portal

You are encouraged to limit your modifications to the above list of files to make it easy to keep your portal up to date without any extra effort. If desired, our Services department can provide assistance with how to use these files to change the look and feel of your portal.

Information for Extensive Modifications

If you must make changes to other parts of the portal, i.e. the files that are automatically replaced by the updater, you have three options:

  1. Send any changes you make to ServiceLedger for inclusion in your custom code
  2. Reapply the changes manually after each update
  3. Disable automatic updates for the tech portal and / or customer portal

If you choose to send your changes to us each time you make any, we can include them in your custom code and make sure that they are applied after each update. This has several advantages, including (1) giving SL a chance to review the changes and warn you if they may cause problems, (2) providing you with an off-site backup of these changes, and in some cases (3) saving you the trouble of copying the changes to each of your computers. However, it does require the involvement of SL and sometimes a few days between when changes are submitted and when they become available and hence updates are safe.

If you will be making extensive changes to the portals and would rather not have any files overwritten by the updater, you can have ServiceLedger remove the tech portal and/or customer portal from the update process. This will only need to be done once, and is either included in your active support plan (if you have one) or will require the purchase of one hour of custom services. This method has the advantages of giving you complete control over all files in your portals and not requiring any intervention or help from ServiceLedger's staff, but will also make it much more difficult for you (or our staff, if you hire us to do so) to re-integrate the changes into the portal if you ever need any bugfixes or upgrade to a more recent version.

Finally, if you choose not to contact or work with ServiceLedger in any way, you have the option of simply re-applying your changes after each update. This is much more labor-intensive than simply disengaging your portals from the updater and is generally not recommended.

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