Orphan items and Sitecore Items as resources

Created: 30 Oct 2022, last update: 4 Apr 2024

Orphan items and Sitecore Items as resources

When working with Sitecore Items as resources there is a change that you create orphan items. You use Items as resources for container-friendly deployment in Sitecore XM Cloud or Sitecore 10.2+

What are orphan items? In Sitecore Items are structured in a tree, that means every item has a parent, except the Sitecore root item. With ID {11111111-1111-1111-1111-111111111111}. So if an item does not have a valid parentID the item is an orphan item.

When you delete an item from a .dat resource file and deploy the resource file to Sitecore the item is removed from your Sitecore if it is not overwritten by a database item. But if the deleted item has children, the children are not deleted from the database the childs items become orphan.

Orphan items are not really bad, but can cause some quirks they can persist in indexes, and in the Links table. Reindex will remove the from the index. Rebuild link databases will not help to remove the Orphan items from the link table.

Remove Orphan items.

Justy run “Clean up databases” in the Sitecore Control Panel.

Help all my Sitecore site content disappeared after a deployment

When after a release your Sitecore Content tree is missing a lot of items also items that not belong to a resource file. A possible reason can be that a .dat resource file is not deployed wherein your website content root was stored. If you mis some content and know the template or id you can easily check if it still exists in the database.

Go to the Template, in the Navigate tab from the top menu select Links. If you see items that refer to the selected item: that’s gone, then you know it is possible become orphan. You can do Inspect Html to find out the ID.

Get an orphan item by ID with Sitecore PowerShell
Get-Item -Path master: -ID "{9166FF10-44FD-422A-88F0-75874C98D402}"

Restore Sitecore Orphan items

Just restore the parent with a resource file or any other way to create an item with the specific ID, parentID from the orphan item.

Or just try to move the orphan to an existing item,
The Sitecore PowerShell Move-Item command can't do it for you, but perhaps it works when you use a lower level MoveItem from the Sitecore API.
Get-Item -Path "master:" -ID "{9166FF10-44FD-422A-88F0-75874C98D402}" |
Move-Item -Destination "master:{0DE95AE4-41AB-4D01-9EB0-67441B7C2450}"

Move-Item : Cannot move item because the item at 'Sitecore::master:-XXXXXX-item' does not exist.
At line:3 char:5
+ Move-Item -Destination "master:{0DE95AE4-41AB-4D01-9EB0-67441B7C2 ...
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidOperation: (:) [Move-Item], PSInvalidOperationException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : InvalidOperation,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.MoveItemCommand

Tools for working with Sitecore Items as Resources