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Displaying Custom Tabs

Communications Server 2007 R2

Topic Last Modified: 2009-05-23

In addition to customizing the sign-on page, you can customize the Communicator Web Access client user interface. For example, you can add custom tabs or a custom menu to the client window. Both custom tabs and the custom menu enable you to provide links to Web pages or Web-based applications. However, they do so in very different ways. When you select an item from a custom menu, the selected item opens in another browser window. When you select an item from a custom tab, that item does not open in another browser window. Instead, the content appears inside the tab pane of the Communicator Web Access window.

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You may have to resize the window to view that content. You can move the resize tool, which is located near the bottom of the Communicator Web Access client window, up or down to resize the tab pane.

You can also configure a custom tab to pass information to the corresponding Web page or Web-based application. You can pass the ID of the logged-on user, or pass information about the contacts, groups, or distribution lists currently selected in the client window. In turn, that information can then be handed off to a database or other application for additional processing.

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A complete discussion of how you can pass contextual information from Communicator Web Access to another application is outside the scope of this documentation.

It is typical practice for system administrators to use custom tabs to display Web pages within the Communicator Web Access client. For example, you might have a tab that connects to a help desk Web page.

When creating a Web page to display in the tab pane, keep in mind that the information should fit within the client window without the user having to scroll the page in any direction. By default, that means a Web page approximately 300 pixels wide by 350 pixels high.

After you have modified the CustomConfig.xml file, you must create a second XML file (that is, the one you assigned to the <location> attribute). This second XML file defines each of the custom tabs that you want to display in the Communicator Web Access client window.

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You can use the same XML file to configure custom tabs for Office Communicator as well as for Communicator Web Access.

When you create an XML file for defining custom tabs, you must use the schema shown in the following table.

Element Description Allowed values

image

Image to be used as the tab icon. The image file should be a 16 pixel by 16 pixel .PNG graphic.

A URL on your network. If the tab is to be accessible to both internal and external users, this URL must be accessible to both internal and external users.

name

Title of the tab.

Any alphanumeric string.

tooltip

Text to display as a tooltip when the user hovers over the tab with the mouse.

Any alphanumeric string.

contenturl

Location of the Web page that you want users to access when they click the tab.

A URL on your network. If the tab is to be accessible to both internal and external users, this URL must be accessible to both internal and external users.

tabid

The order in which the tab should appear, from left to right.

A number ranging from 1 to 32. If you set this value to 1, reading from left to right, this will be the first tab displayed in the client window.

userid

Indicates whether the Web page or application hosted by the tab will use the ID of the user who is signed in to provide user-specific information.

<userid>True</userid>

<userid>False</userid>

If True, the Web page or application hosted by the tab reads the ID of the user who is signed in. You can use this to supply user-specific information, such as the geographic location of the user.

If False, the user ID is ignored by the hosted Web page or application.

contactid

Indicates whether the Web page or application hosted by the tab will use the ID of the user who is signed in to provide contact-specific information.

<contactid>True</contactid>

<contactid>False</contactid>

If True, the Web page or application hosted by the tab will read contact information for the logged-on user.

If False, contact information will be ignored by the hosted Web page or application.

accessibility

Indicates whether the tab should be displayed to internal users, external users, or both.

<accessibility>Inside</accessibility>

<accessibility>Outside</accessibility>

<accessibility>Both</accessibility>

If set to Inside, only users connecting to Communicator Web Access from inside the organization’s firewall see the tab.

If set to Outside, only users connecting to Communicator Web Access from outside the organization’s firewall see the tab.

If set to Both, all users connecting to Communicator Web Access see the tab.

client

Indicates whether Communicator Web Access clients should display the tab. (When you configure custom tabs, Office Communicator 2007 R2 and Office Communicator 2007 R2 Attendant display the tabs by default.)

To enable tab use in Communicator Web Access, you must also use the <communicatorwebaccess> element.

communicatorwebaccess

Indicates whether Communicator Web Access clients should display the tab.

If True, the tab is displayed in Communicator Web Access, in addition to Office Communicator and Communicator Attendant.

If False, the tab is displayed in Office Communicator and Communicator Attendant, but not in Communicator Web Access.

For example:

<client> 
    <communicatorwebaccess>True  </communicatorwebaccess>
</client>

  1. Create the content that you want to display in each tab, and then save that content to a location on your network that will be accessible to Communicator Web Access users.

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    Your content can be a static Web page or it can be a Web application that includes HTML, JavaScript, ActiveX controls, and pop-up windows.
  2. On the computer running the Communicator Web Access server, use a text editor to open the file CustomConfig.xml. This file is typically found in the folder C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2\Communicator Web Access\Server\CWA\Client.

  3. In the CustomConfig.xml file, locate the <Tabs> element. By default, the <Tabs> element looks like this:

    <Tabs Active="false">
    
  4. Change the value of the Active attribute to True:

    <Tabs Active="True">
    
  5. Locate the <TabData> element and set its Active attribute to True:

    <TabData Active="True">
    
  6. Specify a location for the custom tabs file. When you are finished, the <location> attribute should look something like the following:

    Dd572794.note(en-us,office.13).gifNote:
    If you are allowing external users to use the custom tab file, this file must be accessible to people outside your firewall. As a general rule, placing the custom tabs file on a Web page offers the surest way to make the file accessible to all of your users.
    <location>http://www.contoso.com/tabs.xml</location>
    
  7. Save the file CustomConfig.xml.

  1. Open Notepad or another text editor, and then create an XML file that looks like the following:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
    <TabData Active ="true">
    </TabData>
    

    Save the file in the same location and with the same file name as the file assigned to the <location> attribute in the CustomConfig.xml file (in this example, http://www.contoso.com/tabs.xml).

  2. For each tab to be displayed in Communicator Web Access create a <tab> element similar to the following, where all the <tab> elements are enclosed with the <TabData> element:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
    <TabData Active ="true">
        <tab> 
            <image>http://cwaserver.contoso.com/help.png</image> 
            <name>Help Desk</name> 
            <tooltip>Click here to access the Contoso Help Desk site.</tooltip> 
            <contenturl> http://helpdesk.contoso.com</contenturl> 
            <tabid>1</tabid> 
            <accessibility>inside</accessibility>
            <client>
                <communicatorwebaccess>true</communicatorwebaccess>
            </client>
         </tab> 
    </TabData>
    
  3. When you are finished, save and then close the CustomConfig.xml file.

  4. After modifying CustomConfig.xml you must restart the IIS service before Communicator Web Access can begin using the custom header and footer. To do this, type the following at a command prompt and then press ENTER:

    iisreset /restart

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