In Sitecore, a clone is an item that is not just a copy of the original item, but one that inherits the field values from the original item. If you update a field in the original item, the corresponding field in the clone is also updated.
Therefore, you can think of cloning items as a way of centralizing content items. With cloning, you can place your items throughout the content tree, and control the content from one central location in the content tree. For example, if you have multiple websites in Sitecore – each for a different country, you can create a master website that contains the content items that all the sites have in common. Then, for each of the country websites, you create a clone of the master website that establishes a connection between the original item and the clone, which means that when you update an item in the master website, the corresponding items in all the country websites are also updated.
If you edit a field in a clone and then edit the same field in the original item, a conflict occurs and a notification appears, suggesting how you can resolve the conflict.
Updating and maintaining clones is a more expensive operation than updating regular items. We therefore recommend that you keep the item structure as simple as possible to facilitate performance. You should avoid creating clones of clones wherever possible because this can generate complicated loops and consume resources, though it works for a small number of items and levels.
The following examples, describe the connection between the original item and the clones:
If you edit a field in the original item and save it, Sitecore updates the field in all the cloned items if this field has not been changed in the cloned items.
In the cloned item, the [original value] text next to the value fields indicates that the value has not been changed from the original item.
If you edit a field in the clone and save it, the [original value] text is no longer present next to the Title field of the clone. The original item does not change.
If you edit a field in the original item and the field has been changed in the clone, a message appears on the Content tab of the clone, telling you that a field in the original item has changed.
To resolve this conflict, you can choose:
Review the original item
Displays the original item and you can review the changes.
Accept the change
Copies the values from the fields in the original item to the corresponding fields in the clone. The [original value] text appears next to the field titles.
Reject the change
Keeps the existing field value in the clone and hides the message.
If you create a subitem under the original item, a notification appears on Content tab of the clone, telling you that a new subitem has been created under the original item. In the clone, a notification appears telling you to decide whether to create a clone of the new subitem.
If you delete an item that has clones, the following message is displayed:
In the message, Sitecore lists all the clones of the item that you are deleting and, if any, the clones of the subitems. If you click OK to delete the original item, the clones keep their current field values and become normal content items.
If you clone an item that is in a workflow, the workflow and the workflow state properties are copied to the clone. After the workflow field values are copied, the workflow properties of the clone and the workflow properties of the original items are not connected any more. So, if you change the workflow state of the original item, the workflow state of the clone is not changed.
Path to the original item
On the clone in the Content Editor, you can see the path to the original item of the clone. Click the clone in the content tree and on the Content tab, expand the Advanced section, and view the __Source field.
If the Advanced section is not visible, click the View tab and select the Standard fields check box.