Sitecore Headless Development FAQ

Current version: 22.x

This topic answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Sitecore Headless Development with ASP.NET.

What are the benefits of Sitecore Headless Development?

Sitecore Headless Development introduces efficiencies in developing, maintaining, scaling, and upgrading Sitecore solutions. You can create rendering hosts using Sitecore JavaScript Rendering SDKs or the ASP.NET Rendering SDK.

Headless development is powered by the Sitecore Headless Rendering suite.

Using ASP.NET Core Rendering SDK when doing native integration with existing ASP.NET Core applications presents fewer problems and allows for faster development iterations by building straight from Visual Studio to a rendering host. This allows you to test changes without waiting for the Sitecore installation to restart.

With Sitecore JavaScript Rendering SDKs (JSS), you get SDKs for popular JavaScript front-end technologies or frameworks, like Next.js, React, Angular, and Vue.js. The SDK for each framework provides tooling and components that speed up the development of front-end applications that consume content and layout data from Sitecore.

All rendering SDKs in the suite are supported by the services and APIs provided by the Sitecore Headless Services module.

Will infrastructure costs be cheaper in production with Sitecore Headless Development?

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, content and layout data requests, GraphQL queries, 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. A rendering host can scale at a lower cost than a Content Delivery instance. In some solutions, Content Delivery still has to scale out to handle requests from an increased number of rendering hosts.

Is Sitecore Headless Development an add-on?

No. Sitecore Headless Development is an architecture approach enabled by the Headless Rendering suite. With a Sitecore license that includes Headless Rendering, you get access to the Sitecore Headless Services module, as well as JSS and the ASP.NET Core Rendering SDK. The front-end SDKs use the same interfaces.

Can I still use MVC or Sitecore Experience Accelerator with Sitecore?

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

Can I use the ASP.NET Rendering SDK or JSS without using Sitecore Containers?

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

With Sitecore Headless Development, do any development artifacts still have to be deployed to Content Delivery?

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

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

Can I build using Blazor, RazorPages, and SignalR?

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

Can I run separate JSS and ASP.NET Rendering SDK multisite instances from the same Sitecore instance?

JSS and ASP.NET Rendering SDK multisite instances use the same type of site definition. Whether the site is built with JSS or ASP.NET Rendering SDK is irrelevant to Content Management.

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