The entire Sitecore product suite contains over 50 logical system roles or entities that can be scaled and configured in a wide variety of topologies to form a running Sitecore solution catering to specific business needs or requirements.
The logical roles can be grouped and described from different perspectives depending on the objective:
By product - where roles are grouped by the product which they are licensed and installed with and in which they are primarily used. This is the way this documentation is structured.
By type - where roles are grouped by their usage or technology. For example, do they run business logic or do they store data.
By combination - for scalability or simplicity reasons, some logical roles can be combined to form single running entities in a topology. This is typically application roles sharing codebases, but can also be storage roles.
Roles by product
Sitecore Experience Manager (XM)
The following roles belong to Sitecore Experience Manager:
Sitecore Experience Platform (XP)
The following roles belong to Sitecore Experience Platform:
Sitecore Experience Commerce (XC)
The following roles belong to Sitecore Experience Commerce:
Connectors - Data Exchange Framework. Logically belongs in XM as it has no dependency on other parts of the system. However, the framework installs as a separate product and specific connectors may depend on XP or XC.
Cloud Services - Logically belongs in the XM/XP/XC products as they are used from these products.
Roles by type
Each of the services in the Sitecore architecture can implement a number of logical roles or entities, spanning across the following four groups:
Storage roles – store the data of the Sitecore platform, for example, content, media, or customer information. These roles are typically databases, but can also be more transient storage providers, for example, in-memory data stores. The data in these roles are stored either permanently or temporarily, for example, data waiting for processing.
Application roles – host the business logic of the system. These can be split into two subdivisions:
Web Roles – deliver output to visitors or administrators or to calling applications – in other words websites or web services with API endpoints.
Worker Roles – await changes to data in the storage roles and execute business logic to transform and/or transfer the data to other storage roles or indexes.
Indexes – optimize the finding of relevant data using queries. The indexes are maintained and used by the application roles and typically catalog the data stored in the storage roles.
Cloud services – services hosted by Sitecore in the cloud and are accessed by the application roles. The Sitecore Cloud services are not technically part of the product architectures, but are software-as-a-service offerings available through the licensing of the products or on separate subscriptions.
Roles by combination
Some logical roles share a codebase and can be run as a single, combined web applications. For example, the pre-built XP Single topology combines all core roles and all XP service roles. Some databases can also be combined. Refer to the Support combinations section of each role for a list of supported combinations and caveats, or use the following links.
Refer to the Architecture and roles documentation for information about which of the following core roles can be combined:
In Sitecore 10.1 and later, the xDB Reporting role has been combined with the Content Management role.
XP service roles
Refer to the Architecture and roles documentation for information about which of the following XP service roles can be combined: