Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Customizing the Sign-in Page in Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2010 (ExCM)

By Matthew McBride

One of the more common questions we receive about Extranet Collaboration Manager is how to change the wording on the Sign In page for using Windows Authentication:

The proprietary pages in the ExCM 2010 SharePoint Extranet solution are very “vanilla” by default, so we often have customers who want to customize the branding, wording, etc. The fields on the Registration Page can be changed rather easily either through the User Interface (UI) at the Site Collection level, or in the content site web.config file at the global level. However, changing the wording on the Sign In Page is a little more involved.
Our clients often want to use something more descriptive for their employees like, “ACME Employees Click Here To Sign In.”
To achieve this, the first thing you need to do is make a copy of the existing page and place it in a new folder. We typically call this the “Organization Layout Directory” because it’s simply creating a new folder under the “14\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS” directory that we can use for customized pages. To do this you need to navigate to the following:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS
Once there, click on “New Folder” and then give it a name:

Next, you need to make a copy of the existing page and place it in your new folder. To do that, navigate to:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\SPSolutions\ExCM
Now you need to find the page you want to customize and copy it. In our case, it will be the “SignIn.aspx” page:

After copying the page, paste it in the new Organization Layouts Directory:

Now you can edit your page using Notepad or another editor. The wording you are looking for is roughly half way down. As mentioned earlier, you want to change the wording to “ACME Employees Click Here To Sign In.” To do this, add text to two areas in the file:

The first command simply hides your existing “Sign In Using Windows Authentication” link, and the second adds your custom text. The “padding” tag moves the text down and away from the “Sign In” button for aesthetic reasons.
Once the file is saved, change the location of the custom Sign In Page within Central Administration. To do this, click on “Manage Web Applications,” choose your Web Application and then select “Authentication Providers” from the top ribbon area. Now, click on your zone (I only have the single Default one):

Now scroll down the area where you will define the path for your Sign In page. In our example here, we created our Organizational Layouts directory under the Layouts folder, so we'll only need to add “ACME” between “\_layouts” and “\signin.aspx,” thus replacing the “\spsolutions\excm” portion:

Now you just need to save your settings and bring up the new Sign In page:

Of course, you can customize many other areas as well depending on your organizational needs, but the process as a whole will be very similar to this.