Siebel Standard Interactivity and Document Type

Siebel Standard interactivity is turning out to be worse than I had imagined. We are stumbling across various road blocks at every step. The effort that it takes to achieve just a small amount of customization is far more than expected. I can go on and on ranting about the issues of Standard Interactivity but that will be just waste of your and my time. I just intend to provide details around some important defect that can possibly become show stoppers while trying to implement Siebel Standard Interactivity Application.

Siebel SI application has issues with HTML Document Type. Before actually describing the issue I will answer some important questions that might come to you mind about DOCTYPE

What is HTML Document Type (DOCTYPE)?
DOCTYPE is short for Document Type.  The HTML DOCTYPE declaration tells the browser which version of HTML that a Web page uses.  Because there are multiple versions of HTML, browsers use the DOCTYPE declaration to determine how to render the page. Below is example of strict HTML 4.01 doctype

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd”>

More details on various DOCTYPE available can be found here

What is the purpose of HTML Document Type?
Using a DOCTYPE ensures that the web pages will render the same in each browser like Mozilla Firefox and IE 7 etc.

You might think that using DOCTYPE is must and good practice for Web Application, as it provide a standard experience across browsers.
But guess what, including DOCTYPE in a Siebel SI application messes up the UI. This has been identified as product defect and more details about this defect can be found here and Oracle recommends not to use DOCTYPE in Siebel SI and HI applications web templates.

You might be wondering that if adding DOCTYPE causes issues, then simple solution is not to include it but the truth is that world is not that simple. When you are working with Siebel SI then you inevitably will include external HTML content depending on your needs (In my case it was standard Header and Footer of the organization we were implementing the application for) and usually these instructions are included to adhere to standards. This is usually a good thing if you are not using Siebel but when it comes to Siebel SI it lands you in a Catch 22 situation.

If you use instruction then your Siebel UI will change (read as … messed up) and if you don’t then your external content might not work properly.

Surprisingly adding DOCTYPE causes issues only on Internet Explorer (All versions), other browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari work without any issues.

Possible Solution:

Possible solution to this problem is to use DOCTYPE and then edit your CSS file to make it compliant to standards so that works properly in IE and all other browsers. For example, in the .minibuttonOn and .minibuttonOff clasess, add “px” to the padding and border-width declarations. Also added margin declaration like below:

Original CSS:

{padding:0 5 0 5; margin: 0 5 0 0; color:#000000; border-width:1px;border-style:solid; border-color:#666666; background-color:#DEDEDE; text-decoration:none; height:16;}

Modified CSS:
{padding:0px 5px 0px 5px; margin: 0px 5px 0px 0px; color:#000000; border-width:1px;border-style:solid; border-color:#666666; background-color:#DEDEDE; text-decoration:none; height:16px;}

Hope this will help somebody hours of research or last minute changes.

2 Responses to Siebel Standard Interactivity and Document Type

  1. For your information, you can use the CSS shorthands syntax :
     – “padding: 0px 5px 0px 5px;” can be written “padding:0 5px;”
     – “margin: 0px 5px 0px 0px;” can be written “margin:0; margin-right:5px;”
     – “border-width:1px;border-style:solid; border-color:#666666;” can be written “border:1px solid #666”;

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