When it comes to corporate branding, consistent aesthetics play a crucial role. Ensuring that apps resonate with the same colors, fonts, and overall style can be a daunting task. Enter the CoE Theming Solution, an offering within Microsoft’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) suite, tailored for these very requirements. This guide delves into the heart of applying coherent themes to canvas apps using the CoE Theming Solution.
Understanding the Theming Solution
While canvas apps offer some built-in theming capabilities, their scope remains limited, lacking the functionality to tweak templates via the Home > Theme pathway. The theming solution, however, breaks these barriers. Integrated into Microsoft’s CoE suite, it empowers designers to infuse apps with uniform styling effortlessly.
How Does the CoE Theming Solution Function?
Operating on a series of Dataverse tables, the solution allows designers to carve out one or multiple themes and designate styles for each. Such styles encompass default font settings, control colors, border configurations, and even radius settings, granting designers flexibility in shaping control appearances.
Essentially, the theming solution comprises two pivotal canvas apps: a theme editor and a theme gallery. Designers leverage the editor to devise and finalize a theme, post which a template msapp file for new apps is uploaded, sealing the theme’s ‘published’ status. In parallel, app builders employ the gallery app, which showcases the published themes, to derive inspiration and download the foundational msapp files for their ventures.
Installing the CoE Theming Kit
Initiating the theming solution requires downloading the CoEStarterKit. This yields a zip file titled ‘CoEStarterKit.zip’, the contents of which include the pivotal ‘Theming_1_2_managed.zip’, the solution’s backbone. The installation process is straightforward, with the user having to access the Maker Portal, navigate to the ‘Solutions’ menu, and subsequently import the aforementioned zip file. Concluding the installation mandates publishing all customizations.
Creating Your Unique Theme
The CoE Theme Editor serves as the starting point for theme creation. Designers can launch a new theme and utilize a series of intuitive controls to delineate theme colors and properties. Once satisfied, publishing the theme reveals a platform to upload msapp template files, essential blueprints for app builders’ upcoming projects.
Preparation of the msapp Template Files
Accompanying the solution are the AppTemplatePhone and AppTemplateTablet files. A minor tweak is required, wherein we adjust the OnStart property’s initial line, ascertaining the variable ‘ThemeName’ aligns with our target theme.
Decoding the msapp Template File
The msapp template file, though seemingly complex, revolves around a singular line of code defining the theme. Upon modification, any new controls integrated by app builders will automatically embrace the theme’s style, courtesy of the default properties in the app’s OnStart referencing the set variables.
Exploring and Employing Templates
With the theme now live, app builders can sift through the theme gallery app to view and choose from the myriad of published themes, downloading the corresponding msapp files to set the tone for their new apps.
Uniformity in branding and design is paramount, and the CoE Theming Solution is a testament to this. Simplifying the herculean task of theme consistency, it facilitates designers and app builders alike. Those interested in delving deeper can explore the official documentation. If you find yourself facing any hurdles or require further technical assistance, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is dedicated to ensuring your journey is smooth, offering bespoke solutions for any challenges you may encounter.