2.7.2. Definition Scope

Just like code, templates, views etc., configurations and settings defined in your implementation relate to a specific module and should therefore be managed and versioned with that module.

Project layer modules should never define new settings or configurations, as it indicates business logic in the project layer – which should always be avoided. Solution-wide

Solution-wide settings and configurations cover the entire implementation. In other words, they are defined once within the solution and their values will affect the entire implementation. Examples of solution-wide configurations are all the <settings> defined under <sitecore> in the web.config. Examples of solution-wide settings in Sitecore are the installed languages and aliases, which are defined under /sitecore/system.

Solution-wide Configurations should be defined in a .config file, whereas Solution-wide Settings should be defined under /sitecore/system/settings or similar.

Settings defined for a single Project, Feature or Foundation layer module should be defined in their corresponding module folder under /sitecore/system/settings/[layer]/[module].

Be cautious when creating solution-wide configurations in your feature and foundation modules, as you might be restricting the flexibility of the implementation. It is generally good practise to make features as context-aware as possible, for example in terms of support for multi-site, multi-tenant or multi-language. For example, by moving a configurable path from a Solution-wide configuration under <sitecore><settings> to the Sitecore <site> node in the web.config, one can help make a feature site context specific - or by changing the value of an Unversioned setting field, one can make a feature context language specific. Context-wide

Context-wide covers, as the name implies, a given context. This means that a configuration or setting can exist in multiple places, for example per tenant, per site, per language, per database, content hierarchical, by taxonomy etc. The context is, in other words, defined by the business logic in the module that defines the configuration or setting. Examples of context configurations are domain names on sites, search indexes, security domains, user profiles etc.

Sitecore defines a number of contexts to which you can associate your own configuration or settings, for example the site definitions in the web.config.

Habitat Example

The Foundation/Dictionary module in the Habitat example site allows dictionary content to be defined on a site context. This is done by defining a dictionary path on the <site> definition in the web.config.

private Item GetDictionaryRoot(SiteContext site)
    var dictionaryPath = site.Properties["dictionaryPath"];
    if (dictionaryPath == null)
        throw new ConfigurationErrorsException("No dictionaryPath was specified on the <site> definition.");
    var rootItem = site.Database.GetItem(dictionaryPath);
    if (rootItem == null)
        throw new ConfigurationErrorsException("The root item specified in the dictionaryPath on the <site> definition was not found.");
    return rootItem;

Context-wide settings are often created in the content section as part of a hierarchical content tree, for example site-context settings are defined on the site root item or on an item under the site root. This allows easy access to the settings for Sitecore users.