Sitecore Headless Development FAQ


Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Sitecore Headless Development.

Here you can read answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Sitecore Headless Development.

Sitecore Headless Development introduces efficiencies in developing, maintaining, scaling, and upgrading Sitecore solutions.

Using the same Sitecore Headless Services that power JSS gives faster development iterations by building straight from Visual Studio to a rendering host. This allows you to test changes without having to wait for the Sitecore installation to restart.

Because Sitecore Headless Development is based on ASP.NET Core, there are also fewer problems when doing native integration with existing ASP.NET Core applications. With Sitecore Headless Development, you can bring Sitecore in where it is needed.

Infrastructure costs are allocated differently and might be cheaper or more expensive depending on the data flow of your Sitecore solution.

With Sitecore Headless Development, you run the following instances:

  • A Content Delivery (CD) instance carrying less load, because it no longer handles the presentation layer. The CD instance still handles tracking, Sitecore Layout Service requests, GraphQL queries, and personalization, and so on.

  • A lightweight rendering host that handles the presentation layer.

If your presentation layer is a heavy load on your infrastructure then using a rendering host, and perhaps a solid caching strategy, can help reduce horizontal scaling costs. This is because a rendering host can scale out at a lower cost than a Content Delivery instance. In some solutions, Content Delivery still needs to scale out to handle requests from an increased number of rendering hosts.

If you have access to Sitecore JavaScript Services (JSS), you also have access to Sitecore Headless Development as well. Both development approaches leverage the same interfaces.

All existing development options are available in Sitecore 10.0, and you can upgrade without changing your development model. The new ASP.NET Rendering SDK merely provides an additional option for building Sitecore solutions.

Sitecore Containers eases the setup of your development environment, but it is not a requirement for Sitecore Headless Development. You can build Sitecore solutions with ASP.NET Rendering SDK in any type of supported infrastructure or hosting model.

For Sitecore version 10.0, the following features are not compatible with Sitecore Headless Development:

  • Horizon

  • Edit frames

  • Sitecore Forms

  • Invocation of xConnect events, goals, and outcomes from C#

For more complex components, you might need to deploy content resolvers or write GraphQL queries to support your rendering host components.

You also must deploy any site definition configuration patches to your Content Delivery instances.

At this time, the ASP.NET Rendering SDK does not support Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) renderings. Rendering hosts can be used with the existing JSS tenant of SXA to take advantage of SXA features such as multisite, designs, and partials, and so on.

Sitecore only tests and supports MVC sites in the rendering host.

JSS and ASP.NET Rendering SDK multisite instances uses the same type of site definition. For Content Management, whether the site is running JSS or ASP.NET Rendering SDK is not relevant.