Identifying Sitecore items

Last updated Monday, September 19, 2016 in Mobile SDK for Xamarin for Developer

This topic describes the Mobile SDK for Sitecore 8.2. This version of the SDK uses Sitecore.Services.Client while earlier versions use the Item Web API. The different versions are generally not compatible.

You can use the Sitecore Mobile SDKto create, retrieve, delete, update and search items in the Sitecore instance. To request a specific item, you should identify it by one of the following parameters:

  • Item ID
  • Item Path

Search request

You submit the item identification parameters as string objects, so you can submit any values. However, to be correctly processed by the Sitecore Services Client REST service, they must conform to a set of validation rules.

When these item identifications parameters are not sufficient to identify the item precisely, you can specify the item source.

The Sitecore Mobile SDKdoes not let you request an item by more than one parameter at a time, therefore, there are two separate request objects for retrieving items:

  • IReadItemsByIdRequest
  • IReadItemsByPathRequest

All requests are immutable read-only interfaces. To generate these requests, use the ItemSSCRequestBuilder class:

var request = ItemSSCRequestBuilder.ReadItemsRequestWithId(id).Build();
var request = ItemSSCRequestBuilder.ReadItemsRequestWithPath(path).Build();
var request = ItemSSCRequestBuilder.SitecoreSearchRequest(text).Build();

Validating the Item Identification Parameters

The Sitecore Services Client REST service cannot process certain values of the item parameters, for example, it cannot read an item that you do not have access to or locate an item by an incorrectly formatted parameter. To prevent errors, the Sitecore Mobile SDKvalidates the submitted item parameters before passing them to the Sitecore Services Client service. It performs the validation on the client whenever possible. If the validation fails, the SDK throws an exception.

The following validation rules are applied to item identification parameters:

  • Item ID – the string should contain a GUID, which is a 128-bit number separated by hyphens:
    const string itemId = "3D6658D8-QQQQ-QQQQ-B3E2-D050FABCF4E1";

    The hyphens are required. If you pass a string that is null, empty, or consists only of whitespace characters, the request builder throws an exception. In case of other errors, the request is sent to the server, which returns an appropriate response or an error.

  • Item Path – the absolute path to the item, beginning with a forward slash:
    const string itemPath = "/sitecore/content/Home";

    The leading forward slash is required. If you omit the slash, the request builder throws an ArgumentException. If you pass a string that is null, empty, or consists only of whitespace characters, the request builder throws an exception.

Specifying the item source

The item identifications parameters such as the item ID or the item path may be not sufficient to identify the item precisely. The content you retrieve based on these parameters may differ depending on the database in which Sitecore stores the item as well as its language and numeric version.

To specify the item source, use the following item request configuration parameters:

  • database – to specify a database.
  • language – to specify a language version.
  • version – to specify a numeric version.

You can configure the item source in the following ways:

  • Per request on the client – the item source parameters are defined in the item request. The values from the request are a top priority.
  • Per session on the client – if the request doesn’t contain the item source parameters, the SDK uses the values from the ISitecoreSSCSession.DefaultSource property of the current session.
  • On the server – if neither the request nor the session contains the item source parameters, the SDK does not pass any values to the server. In this case, the server uses its own default values configured by the administrator to define the item source.

The item source is an important parameter that affects both item retrieval and caching. Therefore, you should specify the item source explicitly to always control where the content comes from.

However, to ensure that you retrieve the latest version of the item, you can omit the version parameter.

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