What's a GUID and How Does Sitecore Use It? | Perficient Digital

What’s a GUID and How Does Sitecore Use It?

Just as the cell is considered the building block of all life, the GUID is a “building block” for all items as they exist in Sitecore. In this post, we’ll go over some GUID basics and talk about why they’re important to the way content and other items are referenced inside of Sitecore.

What’s a GUID?

An actual GUID is a 128-bit integer that is 32 characters long. It consists of letters (A-F) and numbers (1-9) grouped in a hyphenated pattern of 8-4-4-4-12 characters, like this:

{1FA2C084-7682-4733-BB17-A6952C55D55C}

Technical definition aside, an easier way to understand what a GUID does is to explain that it’s an acronym for a Globally Unique IDentifier. GUIDs enable systems to uniquely classify a ridiculously large amount of items in a “language agnostic” way, with an extremely minute chance for any two items to be named the same thing.

How Does Sitecore Use GUIDs?

From a content authoring perspective, Sitecore tags every item created inside it with a GUID. This allows Sitecore to keep track of the item and its relationship(s) with other items in the site.

Sitecore doesn’t care what you name the item or where the item lives within your site. It only cares about the item ID assigned to your content. This means you can change the name of your item several times or move it from one folder to another and back, and Sitecore will keep track of your item and update any links pointing to it.

This is also why you should never manually enter an internal link to an item (eg. https://mywebsite.com/home) and use ‘Sitecore Links’ when linking to internal items within the Rich Text Editor.

Sitecore transforms the link to use the GUID for the item. As you can see in this example, the ID used in this link matches the one assigned to the item (Shown above {110D559F…}):

If this item is ever moved Sitecore will maintain the link to the item at its new location and not serve up a “Page not found”. If the item is ever deleted, Sitecore will alert you that there are other items that link to it and give you an opportunity to either remove the link or point to a different item instead:

I hope you’ve found this post on GUIDs their importance in Sitecore informative. This is just the first of a series of blog posts I’m writing for content authors and marketing teams. Subscribe to our weekly blog digest and check out future posts!

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