Customize the Layout of the Interaction Center Context Area in SAP CRM 7.0

  • by John Burton, Director Solution Management, SAP Interaction Center & Social CRM, SAP
  • Marius Meissner, Application Developer, SAP CRM Development
  • August 12, 2009
Learn how to easily change the default branding (brand logo and message) and layout of the context area in the Interaction Center with SAP CRM 7.0 using simple configuration — without any code modification.
Key Concept

The context area of the SAP CRM Interaction Center (IC) is located at the top of the application. It provides access to IC-specific information and functionality such as screen pops, multi-channel communication toolbar, customer and communication-channel information, IC alerts, and a scratch pad. The context area is technically considered part of the application header area, a static non-scrolling area located at the top of the application that is only rendered once per session. The header area also includes a branding area comprised of a corporate logo and brand message, as well as a set of SAP CRM standard links with access to user personalization options, SAP help center, SAP system news, and application logoff.

In every SAP CRM release after SAP CRM 2005, starting with SAP CRM 2006s and SAP CRM 2007, it is possible for you to control the overall look and feel of SAP CRM through the use of user interface (UI) skins (also known as themes) and other UI personalization options. The theme controls various visual elements of the user interface, including color scheme, icon appeances, and font style. SAP delivers various themes, including options such as Default, High Contrast, Serenity, New Hope, and SAP Signature Design. Additionally, you are even free to design and upload your own UI skins using industry-standard Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) technology.

You can refer to the article “CRM 2006s: Where to Start?” by Katrina Burke, posted to the CRM Expert knowledgebase in December 2007, for more details about the new UI features of the CRM WebClient, including various UI personalization options.

While the ability to choose different UI skins certainly provided SAP CRM customers with a great deal of flexibility and control over the look and feel of the application for most SAP CRM business roles, one key customization capability was still missing for the Interaction Center (IC) application: the ability to easily change the default SAP branding logo and text and to add, remove, resize, or reposition the individual components of the IC context area.

However, with SAP CRM 7.0, SAP introduced the power to easily change the default branding and component layout of the context area in the IC using simple configuration — without any code modifications. Needless to say, it is always desirable to avoid actual code modifications whenever possible and instead use more flexible options, such as standard configuration or the SAP enhancement framework concept, to avoid potential source-code conflicts when upgrading SAP CRM releases or applying SAP Notes or Support Packages within a particular release.

John Burton

John Burton is a director of product management at SAP and is responsible for the SAP CRM Interaction Center (including ERMS) and social CRM topic areas. John has 13 years of experience at SAP and has been involved with SAP CRM and the Interaction Center since 1999. He is also the author of Maximizing Your SAP CRM Interaction Center, available at the SAPinsider Store. John is an alumnus of the University of Michigan and Central Michigan University. John can be found on LinkedIn at

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Marius Meissner

Marius Meissner is a CRM application developer at SAP with three years of experience in the SAP CRM Interaction Center. Marius is a graduate of the University of Dayton and Stanford University.

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