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.
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