Use the navbar app on external HTML pages

This documentation focuses on the navbar and how it can be used in external HTML pages.

This document will focus on the new implementation of the navbar using React. You can find the document for deprecated AngularJS implementation here. You can also jump to Migrate from AngularJS section for information about moving from AngularJS to React implementation.

How to add the navbar app

You need to follow these steps to add the navbar app to any non-Chaise web page:

1. Install Chaise

Make sure Chaise is properly installed. The following steps (and the navbar app) assume that Chaise is installed and deployed on the server. For more information about how to install Chaise please refer to installation document.

2. Include navbar dependencies

For the navbar to work, we need to include several JavaScript and CSS files on the page. To do so, you can either change your build process to prefetch them or include a JavaScript file that will dynamically fetch them. The first method MUST be done after Chaise installation; otherwise, it would break the app. That’s why we suggest doing it as part of the automated process of building Chaise and other apps.

While the second method seems more straightforward, it will drastically affect the UX by increasing the load time of the navbar. Therefore we recommend the first method.

2.1. Change the build process to prefetch dependencies (Preferred method)

To summarize, after Chaise installation in your build scripts, you need to copy the contents of lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html into the HTML page that displays the navbar. This file won’t be present in the Chaise repository folder, and you can only find this folder where you’ve deployed chaise (By default it should be under /var/www/chaise/).

    <!-- other assets on the page -->

    <!-- TODO add the contents of /var/www/html/lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html here -->

    <!-- other assets on the page -->

We mentioned build scripts because you MUST NOT copy the contents of lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html manually, and this should be part of the automated process of building Chaise and your other apps.

:warning: CAUTION :warning: Manually copying files will break the navbar app as the navbar dependencies will change over time. If you prefer to keep your build process the same, please consider the second method.

The following is an example of how this can be achieved using Jekyll:

  1. Make sure make dist and make deploy are done in Chaise.

    • This will create the dist folder in your specified build target (by default, it’s /var/www/html/chaise).
    • It will also generate the lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html file.
  2. Copy the lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html file into your _includes folder.

    • As we mentioned, this MUST be part of your automated build process and should not be done manually.

    • _includes folder is specific to Jekyll. You should be able to find it in the root location of your Jekyll website repository.

    • As an example, the following is how one of our internal deployments is doing this:

      rsync -a   /home/${DEVUSER}/chaise/lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html   /home/${DEVUSER}/facebase-www/www/_includes/.
  3. Include the file using %include statement:

        {% include navbar-dependencies.html %}
  4. Build your Jekyll site as you normally would (using jekyll build or jekyll serve commands.)

2.2. Dynamically fetch the dependencies

To automatically fetch the dependencies, you must include the /chaise/lib/navbar/navbar.dependencies.js on your page.

    <script src="/chaise/lib/navbar/navbar.dependencies.js"></script>

As we mentioned before, this can cause UX issues as it will increase the loading time of the navbar app.

3. Prefetch custom styles (optional)

If you define the customCSS property in your chaise-config, Chaise will fetch it during the runtime. To increase the performance, you can prefetch this file by including it in your HTML file (this only needs to be done once and can be done manually). So

    <!-- TODO include your customCSS file here -->
    <!-- TODO
      AUTOMATICALLY add the contents of lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html here
      <script src="/chaise/lib/navbar/navbar.dependencies.js"></script>

If you want to prefetch it, the include statement MUST be added before the content of lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html .

4. Use navbar

The navbar React app expects a navbar tag on the page and will populate the app inside it. So make sure you’ve included it as the first element on the body of your page.

   <!-- the rest of the page  -->

5. Avoid manually including bootstrap

Chaise uses Bootstrap version 5.1.9, so it will be included in pages using Navbar. Therefore there’s no reason to include Bootstrap manually. Apart from an extra file that has to be fetched to render the page, the Bootstrap version you have included might be different from the one that Chaises uses, which might have some side effects.

How to configure navbar

The navbar app can be customized by defining different properties in the “chaise-config”. Please refer to chaise-config document for complete list of properties that are supported.

The navbarMenu property is the most complex of the above properties. This parameter is used to customize the menu items displayed in the navbar at the top of all Chaise apps by supplying an object with links and/or dropdown menus. Consult the chaise-config-sample.js file for more details about the format.

  • Each option has an optional newTab property that can be defined at any level. If undefined at root, newTab is treated as true. Each child menu item checks for a newTab property on itself; if nothing is set, the child inherits from its parent.
  • Each option accepts an ‘acls’ object with two attribute arrays (‘show’ and ‘enable’) used to define lists of globus groups or users that can see and click that link.
  • The url property of each menu object allows for templating of the catalog id parameter.
  • The header property of each menu object will create an unclickable bold header with class chaise-dropdown-header when set to true.

How to customize navbar UI

With the current HTML structure, it is possible to apply different styles to customize the appearance. The following are common rules that can be used to customize the UI and behavior of navbar:

  1. Preserve space for navbar while its loading (to reduce the page shift):

    /* set a static height for navbar */
    navbar {
      display: block;
      height: YOUR_VALUE;

    If we detect that you’ve assigned a height to the navbar, we will show a spinner while navbar data is loading. The size of this spinner is calcuated based on the available space. You can modify it by doing the following:

    /* change the spinner displayed on the navbar during load */
    .chaise-app-wrapper-sm-spinner .spinner-border {
      height: YOUR_VALUE !important;
      width: YOUR_VALUE !important;
      border-width: YOUR_VALUE !important;

    Adding !important is necessary to ensure overriding the rules that Chaise is going to add with JavaScript.

  2. Change the navbar background color:

    /* change the navbar background color */
    .navbar-inverse {
      background-color: YOUR_VALUE;
  3. Change the brand text color:

    /* change the brand text color */
    .navbar-inverse .navbar-brand{
      color: YOUR_VALUE;
  4. Change color of text on right side of navbar (login/signup links)

    /* change color of text on right side of navbar (login/signup links) */
    .navbar-inverse .navbar-nav.navbar-right > div > a.nav-link {
      color: YOUR_VALUE;
  5. Change the color of first level navbar menu options

    /* change the color of first level navbar menu options */
    .navbar .navbar-menu-options a.nav-link {color: YOUR_VALUE; font-size: YOUR_VALUE;}
    .navbar .navbar-menu-options a.nav-link:hover {color: YOUR_VALUE;}
    .navbar .navbar-menu-options a.nav-link:visited {color: YOUR_VALUE;}
  6. Change the minimum height of navbar

    /* change the minimum height of navbar */
    .navbar {
      min-height: YOUR_VALUE;
  7. We get a vertical navbar when the width is lesser than the content, you can change the max-height of that navbar after which we will see a scrollbar to ensure it doesn’t take over the entire page (default if not customized is 340px)

    .navbar-collapse {
      max-height: YOUR_VALUE;

Migrate from AngularJS

The following are the major things that have changed from AngularJS to React:

  1. If you’re prefetching the dependencies:

    1. The include statements for prefetching dependencies are now under lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html. So in build recipes change the location like the following:
    - /dist/chaise-dependencies.html
    + /lib/navbar/navbar-dependencies.html
    • The navbar-dependencies.html will only be present in the deployed Chaise folder (by default /var/www/html), while the chaise-dependencies.html is present in both deployed Chaise folder as well as the Chaise repository folder.
    1. While in AngularJS, you need to include a regardless of prefetching dependencies, in React implementation, you don’t need to include anything else if you’re prefetching the dependencies. So in your HTML file:
    - <script src="/chaise/lib/navbar/"></script>
  2. If you don’t want to change the build process to prefetch the dependencies:

    1. You need to include the navbar.dependencies.js file (notice that its name has been changed from In your HTML file:
    - <script src="/chaise/lib/navbar/"></script>
    + <script src="/chaise/lib/navbar/navbar.dependencies.js"></script>
  3. AngularJS implementation uses the Boostrap 3 version, while in React implementation, we use Bootstrap 5. As a result, you will notice changes on the page. The following are some of the most noticeable changes:

    • The navbar implementation has been changed, and we’re no longer using ul or li for the menu options. Please refer to the previous section for more information.
    • The default color of links and buttons has been changed (Bootstrap 5 uses a less saturated blue color. Links also show the underline in the new version).
    • Bootstrap rules for container width and margin have changed.
  4. As mentioned in here, you should not include bootstrap in your static site and rely on the one that navbar dependencies will include. So if you have bootstrap.min.css or bootstrap.css on your pages, you should remove them. Otherwise, the clashing rules might have some unwanted consequences.


  1. Some CSS rules in Chaise might conflict with the ones used in your HTML page. Also, the CSS rules on your static page might affect the navbar. So if you’re seeing some weird UIs, it could be because of these clashing rules. When the navbar app is completely loaded, the following is the rough structure of the elements it will create. If you have some CSS rules that apply to these elements, they will also apply to the navbar and can cause issues:

      <div class="app-container">
        <div class="app-header-container">
          <header id="navheader">
            <nav id="mainnav" class="navbar-inverse navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-dark">
              <a href="/" class="navbar-brand">
                <!-- the navbar brand and logo -->
              <button class="navbar-toggler collapsed">
              <div class="navbar-collapse collapse">
                <div class="navbar-menu-options nav navbar-nav" id="menubarHeader">
                  <!-- menu options -->
                <div class="login-menu-options nav navbar-nav navbar-right navbar-nav">
                  <!-- other parts of navbar (login, profile, search by rid, etc) -->
  2. The bootstrap version of the HTML page might differ from the ones used in Chaise. This might produce some inconsistent behavior on the HTML page.