Terms and concepts


List of common terminology for data definition concepts.

This topic defines some of the common data definition concepts.




Sitecore uses the term template to refer to the components within Sitecore that are used to create new data. Sitecore users create items using one of three template types: data templates, branch templates, and command templates.

Data templates, branch templates, and command templates refer to specific types of templates. Templates control the schema of data entered into the system. Data templates, in particular, form the framework around which items are built. They define fields used to control how data is entered and can inherit from other templates to enable reuse.


Fields are the areas within which the data entered into the system is controlled. Through these fields, which are grouped into sections, you can organize and control the amount and type of data entered into the system. Fields are organized by their field type.

Field type

Field types are the different ways through which data is entered or selected for fields. There are numerous flexible ways of entering data into the system and it is the field types that control the type of data that can be entered or selected in the fields.

Data infrastructure

The term data infrastructure describes the aspects of a Sitecore solution that enforce data structures. Data infrastructure includes all types of templates including standard values; the information architecture of the website including security; insert options that control what users can create; and other structural aspects of the system. Sitecore differentiates data infrastructure from content, or data entered into that structure.

Data representation

Sitecore data representation is:

  • Flexible — with Sitecore you can define data structures through an easy-to-use browser- based user interface.

  • Abstract — you can also change data structure definitions without impacting data.

  • Hierarchical — the data is structured using implicit and explicit relations.

  • XML-oriented — the system also provides XML representations of data.

  • Object-oriented — Sitecore also provides hierarchical, object-oriented representations of data.

Data repositories

The Sitecore data repositories provide a variety of data services. Data can be represented in a limitless variety of languages, and then controlled using strict versioning and security. The flow of data through the system can be set using a variety of custom rules developed into a workflow. Finally, publication of data to the live website can also be influenced by a variety of settings that strictly monitor and control how data is published.