Install Data Exchange Framework on-prem


Guide to installing Data Exchange Framework as an on-prem solution.

This section describes how you install Data Exchange Framework (DEF) in an on-prem solution. You must install DEF on your Content Management and Content Delivery servers.

Data Exchange Framework 7.0 requires Sitecore 10.2. Download the Data Exchange Framework 7.0 software package.


If you want to install the Data Exchange Framework (DEF) on an earlier version of Sitecore, you can find all the DEF versions on the Sitecore download page.

Typically, data synchronization runs on a Content Management (CM) server. This requires the entire DEF product to be installed on your CM server.

To install the Data Exchange Framework on the CM server:

  1. In Sitecore, open the Installation Wizard.

  2. Install the Data Exchange Framework package.

  3. Before you close the Installation Wizard, select the Restart Server check box.


    You must restart the Sitecore Server to force Sitecore to build/convert the xDB Collection Model as Sitecore items.

  4. To confirm the module was installed, open the Content Editor and verify that the /sitecore/system/Data Exchange item is present.

    The Data Exchange node in the content tree

In most cases, you do not run data synchronization on your Sitecore Content Delivery (CD) servers. However, the CD servers use the data that is synchronized. You must therefore install parts of DEF on all your CD servers.


Before installing DEF on a CD server, you must install DEF on your Content Management server.

Because there is no installation interface on a CD server, to install DEF you must deploy the necessary .dat files manually.


Starting with DEF 7.0, DEF items are provided as .dat files, in line with Sitecore items as resources introduced in Sitecore 10.2.

To deploy the files:

  1. On the content management (CM) instance, in the sitecore modules/items/ folder, copy all database folders, that is core, master, and web, and paste them to the content delivery (CD) instance, following the same folder structure.

    When you have copied the folders, on the CD instance, the sitecore modules/items folder contains three <db type>/items.<db type>.dat files, one for each database type. For example:

    • items/core/items.core.def.dat

    • items/master/items.master.def.dat

    • items/web/items.web.def.dat

  2. Restart the CD server.