Start Pages in M3 H5 web client

Introduction

Start Pages is the start page for H5, the M3 web client. It is a set of pages that the end user and/or the administrator can configure with widgets. You can create a start page and share it with others. You can add widgets to your start page such as the Menu, Custom Menu, Favorites and Application Messages. A start page administrator can configure a default start page as well as a set of start pages for specific users or groups.

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A start page can consist of a maximum of six widgets, alternatively let a widget span any number of rows and columns within the grid. Repositioning and resizing of a widget is performed directly upon the widget itself. A start page is a work in progress which can be edited at any time. However, if you want to share your start page you can either export it as a text file or share it within the start page context via a start page library to the rest of your team.

One of the main benefits of Start Pages is the possibility of personalizing them, both on a personal and a team level. This is highlighted by, e.g. the Custom Menu widget which lets you simply create optimized menus for you or your team. Another example is the Mashup widget that lets you add a web mashup directly to the start page. This, more or less, enables you to create your own widgets in the shape of a personal mashups created in Mashup Designer.

An example of a currency mashup placed in a Start Page widget.

An example of a currency mashup placed in a Start Page widget.

Start Page Concepts

There are two main types of Start Pages, public and private. A private Start Page is created by you and only you can use that specific page. A public Start Page on the other hand is the direct opposite; it was created by anyone and can be consumed by anyone. Let’s say that you want to create a Start Page for yourself but also for your team. You want the rest of your team to be able to use the widgets and data you added but restrict them from editing the Start Page itself. This can be achieved in the following way.

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The image above shows the default settings for a Start Page, the only thing I’ve changed is the Name and the Description. As you can see from this image, I have three setting available that affect how public this page is for other users.

  • Editors – Choose between Owner and Everyone. This setting enables users other than me to lock the page as well as adding, removing or repositioning widgets.
  • Share this page – True or false. Enabling this setting makes this Start Page public and other users can add it via the Start Page Library.
  • Lock this page – True or false. Enabling this setting disables adding, removing and repositioning of widgets.

To summarize, if I want to share this page to my team but restrict them to only consuming the data and not altering the Start Page. I should keep the Editors-settings value at Owner, change the Share this page-setting to True and finally change the Lock this page-value to True.

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Mandatory and Default Pages

There are three types of public pages; Public, Mandatory and Default. The public page is simply any Start Page that has the setting Share this page set to True. The Mandatory pages are created by an administrator and are, as the name indicates, required for all users. This kind of pages can only be created and modified by an administrator; several Mandatory pages can be used at the same time. A Default page is a template created by an administrator to explain how to work with Start Pages or to inspire users to explore the possibilities of Start Pages. Only one Default page can be used at the same time.

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Both Mandatory and Default pages are set via the Page Administration at the bottom of the Start Page Menu. Note that this option is only visible for administrators.

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You can find both of these settings under Application Settings. Click the lookup-icon in the text field to browse for public pages.

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For the Default page-setting this dialog appears. Choose any page to use as default or none to let the users start with a blank page.

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For the Mandatory pages-setting a more complex dialog appears since you can choose to have several Mandatory pages within your context. The pages to the left are the ones to be used as Mandatory pages, namely Welcome page and News in H5 page in this scenario.

Start Pages are available in the Enterprise Edition of MUA while Foundation Edition users are presented with a single static start page.

Widgets

There are 13 widgets included in the first release of Start Pages, as seen in the screen shot of the Widget Library below.

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The screenshot below shows three widgets; Application Messages, Shortcuts and Custom Menu. The first two is connected to data sources outside of Start Pages itself. Application Messages is connected to Application Messages. Open (CRS420) while Shortcuts is connected to the Start Page Database. Custom Menu on the other hand keeps it data saved in the Start Page itself. This means that if several users uses the Start Page that contains these three widgets, only the data of Custom Menu would be the same for all users while the data for the other two widgets are personal.

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The Application Messages widget has more functionality than, e.g. the Inbox widget in Smart Office.

  • Color indication of upcoming, overdue and todays messages.
  • The complete text message is hidden just one click away.
  • Link to the related M3 application, or Application Messages. Open if no related application exists.

The Shortcuts widget now includes detailed information to easily distinguish two similar Shortcuts. It is possible to give the Shortcut a suitable name, quickly see the targeted application and panel as well as expanding a shortcut to see even more detailed information such as Company, Delivery number, Item number and Customer.

The Custom Menu widget is a great way to create menus for yourself or your team. Items can be added either via the Add-icon or the setting dialog. The name, link and icon can thereafter be edited to whatever suits your need. The links can refer to M3 Applications, such as MMS001, web sites or even Mashups.

How to install Start Pages

Prerequisites:

  • GDBC needs to be installed in the grid. (Note that GDBC is only required if Start pages are enabled. The MUA server will work without GDBC if Start pages are not enabled.)
  • MUA Enterprise Edition needs to be installed if you like anything else than a static start page. Start pages are still available in the Foundation edition but you will only get a static start page that you cannot configure or change.

Preparations

Install or upgrade MUA. Make sure that you have installed GDBC. We strongly recommend that you also configure GDBC to run against SQL server since the built in H2 database will be discontinued in coming versions of the Grid. For instructions on how to configure GDBC for MS SQL check the grid documentation.

Enabling Start pages

In the Grid Management configuration for mne (MUA) locate the new section Start page settings.

  1. Set Enable Start Pages to true.
  2. Set Enable static page to true
  3. Restart the MUA server

Verify by logging in using an Enterprise User.

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Start Page Administration

This post is meant to give deeper insight to what Start Pages is and how to administrate and configure it. There are a set of properties that will allow you to configure how you use start pages within your organization.

The Start Page administration generally supports the following:

  • Grid properties for enabling Start Pages or for enabling a static page for Foundation users
  • Start page administration properties that can be changed by an administrator in the Start Page Administration Tool. The Start page Administration tool is available from the Home menu -> Administration -> Page Administration.
  • Adding rules to each setting in the Page Administration tool so that different settings apply to different users and/or groups.
  • The concept of an application administrator as well as a Start Page administrator

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Application Administrator vs Start page Administrator

There are two different types of administrators for Start Pages, there is the Application Administrator and the Start Page Administrator. Below is an overview of the difference between them and how to configure a user to be a Start Page Administrator. Both types of administrators always have a fixed set of settings enabled.

Start Page Administrator

Depending on how you plan to use Start Pages it is possible to assign users to the Start Page Administration role. They will have full access to Start Pages so that they are allowed to create and publish start pages, modify any public page, delete other user’s start pages, etc. They will also have access to the Start Page Administration tool so they can set a default template for a specific group or set a mandatory page to a group. The only Start Page related function they don’t have access to is the Import and Export Tool.

You configure a user to be a Start Page Administrator by:

  • Adding the user (or group) to the mne/StartPageAdministrator in the Grid Management tool User and Role Mapping (they must also be in the mne/app-enterpriseuser).

We recommend that you only add a small subset of users as administrators.

Application Administrator

The application administrator is the administrator with the most access rights. He or She has the same access as a Start page administrator but is also allowed to use the Import and Export Tool.

You configure a user to be an application administrator by:

  • Adding the user (or group) to the mne/app-admin in the Grid Management tool User and Role Mapping (they must also be in the mne/app-enterpriseuser).

Start Page Administration Tool

Start page Settings

The start page settings are configured in the Start Page Administration tool available in the Home menu -> Administration -> Page Administration

All settings support adding of rules that allows you to configure a specific setting for a user or group. The settings all have the following layout in the tool. The (….) Browse button will open the Rules tool. In the Rules tool you can specify a set of rules. The rules can also be reordered. The first matching rule for a user will be the rule that is applied. The star next to the button indicates if the setting has one or more rules.

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For an end user it is possible to see a subset of the settings that an administrator has configured by opening the User Settings for Start pages found on the menu in the Home tab. This is a read only view so that the user can check what has been enabled for them by the administrator.

User Settings

Setting Default value Comment
Default open mode Application Application or Browser. The open mode specifies if a launched link should be opened in a new tab within the H5 client or if it should be opened in the browser (which means a new browser tab or browser window depending on browser settings).Some links such as M3 programs can only be opened in an application tab and for these links the setting will not have any effect.
Default background Light Light or Dark. This is the default background you get when adding a new widget to a page.
Max recent items 10 This is the max number of recent items to be displayed in the Recent widget.
Client Log level Information The default log level for the client. The log output will be written to the JavaScript console in browsers that have a console. There is no UI for changing the log level in the client but in can be changed using a command in the console, see the section about the client log.

Application Settings

Setting Default value Comment
Enable start pages True If start pages should be enabled for the user. Note that there are grid properties that needs to be enabled as well. This setting makes it possible for an application administrator to enable/disable Start pages for a specific user or role.
Enable adding public pages True If a page can be added as a favorite from the Page library. If set to false a user cannot add a page from the page library as a favorite.There are two options when adding a page from the library, to add it as a favorite which means that the user will get any changes made by editors or to add it as a copy which means that the page will be copied to a private page.
Enable copying of public pages True If a page can be copied into a private page from the Page library.There are two options when adding a page from the library, to add it as a favorite which means that the user will get any changes made by editors or to add it as a copy which means that the page will be copied to a private page.If this setting is set to true ‘Enable private pages’ must also be set to true. If ‘Enable private pages’ is set to false this setting will be handled as false regardless of its value.
Enable update of public pages False If the user can edit public pages even if they are not the owner. If this value is true it does not matter if the public page has Edit Level owner. A user with this setting set to true has special rights and is always allowed to edit a public page.
Enable delete of public pages False If the user can delete public pages even if they are not the owner. A user with this setting set to true has special rights and is always allowed to delete a public page.
Enable export of a page True If set to true the user is allowed to export a page. Pages that are in My Pages can be exported. Widgets that have external data sources (for example) favorites will not export their data. You can export one page at a time and the result is a json document.
Enable import of a page True If the user is allowed to import a page. Import will only be enabled if ‘Enable private pages’ is also enabled.
Enable page publishing True If a user is allowed to publish / share a page so that it becomes available in the Page Library for others to add or for the administrator to use as a default template or an application page.Since all pages are first created as private pages users must be allowed to create at least 1 private page to be able to publish a page. ‘Enabled private pages’ must be true for this setting to be set to true.
Enable show last used page True If set to true the last viewed page is stored in the browser cache so the next time a user logs in she will get the last opened page instead of the first page. Setting the value to false will allow the Administrator to decide that a specific start page should always be opened first by setting that page first in the Application pages setting.
Enable private pages True If a user is allowed to have a private page or not.
Max number of user pages 3 The number of pages a user can add to My pages. The number includes private pages and public pages that are added as favorites.Application pages that are mandatory pages set by the administrator are not included in the count. Setting the value to 0 is equivalent to setting ‘Enable private pages’ to false.Setting this value to three with ‘Enable private pages set to false means that the user can add public pages (if enabled) but not create any own private pages.Changing this value (to a new lower value) will not delete pages from users that already have more pages than the specified number but it will prevent them from adding pages until they are under the limit again.
Minimum page edit level Everyone Possible values are: Everyone / Owner. (Start page administrator can always edit public pages). This setting only applies to public pages. When sharing a page an Edit Level can be specified for the page by the owner. If set to everyone, everyone can make changes to the public page, including deleting all widgets and replacing the content.If you want a more controlled configuration you should set the minimum level to owner which makes it impossible for the owner to allow plain users to edit the public page.Note that Page Administrators always have access to edit a public page.Also note that there is no automatic refresh or notifications of updated page between users. Last save wins so having an edit level set to everyone can be problematic.Setting the level to owner will affect all already published pages so that only the owner and start page admins are allowed to edit them.
Default page The Id of the page that should be used as a template for new users. This setting is only applied if ‘Enable private pages’ is set to true. The user will get a private copy of the page specified but only if no Application page is set for the user.Read more about start page for first time users in section XX.
Application pages A list of page ids that are mandatory for the user. These pages will be added to My pages and will be added first in the list of user start pages. Only public pages can be selected.
Enabled widgets A comma separated list of widget IDs that are enabled. We recommend you to use one set of widgets for the installation without applying rules.
Disabled widgets A comma separated list of widget IDs that are disabled. We recommend you to use one set of widgets for the installation without applying rules.
M3 Message refresh time The interval in minutes between automatic refresh of the application message widget.
 

Widget data sources

As mentioned in the section above, the source of the data for each type of widget can be different and in some cases it is important to know where the data is actually stored. When exporting and importing Start Pages, only parts of the data that is visible will be included. Some data belongs to other data sources and must be exported and imported by other means. Some data is only for the local user and cannot be exported at all.

The data for a widget can be stored in the following locations.

  • Page – The data is stored as part of the page. If the page is copied or exported the widget data is part of the new copy.
    Example widgets: Custom Menu, Note
  • Local – The data is stored for the current user in the local browser storage. If the user starts the application in another browser or on another machine the data will not be available.
    Example widgets: Recent and Frequent
  • External – The data is stored in some kind of external data source. External data sources include the Start pages database, H5 settings, MI programs, the Web Mashup server etc.
    Example widgets: Favorites, Shortcuts, Menu

The table below shows the type of data source for each widget.

Widget name Data source Comment
Application Messages External MI program
Custom Menu Page
Environment External MI program
Favorites External H5 settings
Frequent Local
Image Page
Mashup Page
Mashups External Web Mashups server
Menu External MI program
Note Page
Recent Local
Shortcuts External Start pages database
Web Page

2 thoughts on “Start Pages in M3 H5 web client

  1. Mahmoud Tawfik

    Hi,
    Please I need to know how to deploy .webmashup file on LCM so that it can be opened from H5 Client (supposing that it is Enterprise Edition that supports web mashups).

    Thanks

    Reply

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