CatDV Server 7.0 ships with two standard web interfaces:
- The CatDV Web Client – is a rich Internet application that aims to provide an experience similar to using the desktop client – but in a web browser. It provides some customisation options, such as changing the logo it displays in its banner bar, and customising the tabs that are displayed based on the production group defined details panels. However the overall look and feel and the functionality provided are fixed.
Customising the Web 2 Interface
CatDV Server 7.1 introduces a new mechanism to customise the Web 2 interface using the new Web Workspaces feature. Web Workspaces allow you to customise not only the look and feel of the interface (re-skinning) but also to customise which features of the web interface are available to different users and also to customise various aspects of the interface’s behaviour.
For details about setting up and configuring Web Workspace click here.
Building a Custom Web Interface
If your customisation requirements go beyond what can be achieved using themes then you may want to consider building a completely bespoke web interface tailored to your specific requirements. CatDV provides two distinct technologies for constructing web applications, that are typically used together:
- CatDV JSP Tag Library – Java Server Pages (JSP) is a server-side web technology that uses an extended form of HTML, that makes use of custom HTML tags and the ability to embed Java code directly into the HTML page. CatDV ships with a JSP Tag Library that allow CatDV Server data, including catalog, clips and metadata, to be emitted directly into the HTML page on the server. The look and feel of the resultant web site is completely under the control of the web designer.
The CatDV Web 2 interface uses both these technologies in its implementation.
The easiest way to create a custom web interface to CatDV Server is to base it on one of the web samples that ships with CatDV. The web samples are shipped in a file called ‘websamples.war’ in the installation directory. By default the CatDV home page has a link to the sample applications a the bottom of the page, so if you navigate to that you will see the unmodified web sample home page.
To deploy these files (ready for subsequent modification) you should copy the ‘websample.war’ file to another directory outside the CatDV Server installation folder (this avoids it being overwritten next time you upgrade CatDV Server). If you rename the file to ‘websamples.zip’ you will be able to unpack it using the built-in archiving tools on either Windows or Mac OS. If you then update the Document Root setting of the built-in web server using the CatDV Server Control Panel (in the Setup Wizard, Web Server tab) then the web server will serve the web files from their new location.
Any changes made to the copied sample files will be visible immediately via the CatDV Server web server, so it is easy to make gradual modifications to create the look that you require.