Rendering Fully Qualified Sitecore URLs

Sitecore’s web.config contains many ways to extend and customize the application. One such configurable aspect is dynamic link resolution. This article is intended to explain how you can configure Sitecore to render fully qualified URLs (e.g. http://host/my/path/to/page.aspx) in links.

Make All Links Fully Qualified

Its really easy to configure Sitecore to make all links fully qualified. You can simply update the linkManager configuration and set alwaysIncludeServerUrl to true. Here’s an example:


<linkManager defaultProvider="sitecore">
  <providers>
    <clear />
    <add name="sitecore" type="Sitecore.Links.LinkProvider, Sitecore.Kernel" addAspxExtension="true" alwaysIncludeServerUrl="true" encodeNames="true" languageEmbedding="never" languageLocation="filePath" shortenUrls="true" useDisplayName="false" />
  </providers>
</linkManager>

Only Make Some Links Fully Qualified

If you don’t always want all links to be fully qualified, but rather have certain scenarios when they should be, you can create a custom link provider to handle this. Simply inherit Sitecore.Links.LinkProvider and override the GetItemUrl(...) method:

namespace CustomLibrary.Links
{
    public class CustomLinkProvider : Sitecore.Links.LinkProvider
    {

        public override string GetItemUrl(Sitecore.Data.Items.Item item, Sitecore.Links.UrlOptions options)
        {

            if (/* my condition of when to apply fully qualified links, e.g. a specific device maybe */)
            {

                options.AlwaysIncludeServerUrl = true;
                
            }

            return base.GetItemUrl(item, options);
        }

    }
}

After doing this, change the defaultProvider in the linkManager to your custom class like so:


<linkManager defaultProvider="custom">
  <providers>
    <clear />
    <add name="sitecore" type="Sitecore.Links.LinkProvider, Sitecore.Kernel" addAspxExtension="true" alwaysIncludeServerUrl="false" encodeNames="true" languageEmbedding="never" languageLocation="filePath" shortenUrls="true" useDisplayName="false" />
    <add name="custom" type="CustomLibrary.Links.CustomLinkProvider, CustomLibrary" addAspxExtension="true" alwaysIncludeServerUrl="false" encodeNames="true" languageEmbedding="never" languageLocation="filePath" shortenUrls="true" useDisplayName="false" />
  </providers>
</linkManager>

 

Scaling Sitecore Presentation Component Data Sources

Sitecore presentation components come with some handy features to make them reusable, such as assigning a data source to define dynamic data. This post will explain how to scale your data sources so they can be moved or renamed within the content tree without affecting presentation.

The Issue (the Internal Link field)

The Data Source field on component rendering parameters is unfortunately set as an Internal Link field, so if you move or rename the target data source item, your presentation components that use the data source will break. This is because an Internal Link field (which you should always avoid) stores the target item via path, not GUID, so renaming or moving it will cause the path to be wrong.

A Simple Solution

This issue is quite annoying and can cause developers and/or architects to avoid using data sources and instead opt for Parameter Data Templates. The solution is to merely change the out-of-the-box Data Source field to be a Droptree field instead of an Internal Link field. Here’s how to do it.

First, find the template with the Data Source field on it. It happens to be on the Standard Rendering Parameters template (/sitecore/system/Layout/Rendering Parameters/Standard Rendering Parameters) which all presentation components use in the control properties.

Next, change the Data Source field to be a droptree.

Now, when you pick a data source, it will use a Droptree field and store the target item via GUID, so renaming or moving it will not break anything.

I’ve tested how Sitecore’s interface reacts to this change and Page Edit mode still works when assigning a data source item to a component.