Chapter 3

The Layout Engine and Data Access APIs

What's in This Chapter?

Enhancing the ASP.NET page lifecycle

Defining the Sitecore context

Developing presentation components

Accessing fundamental APIs and data access techniques

Implementing conditional rendering and personalization

Understanding the renderField pipeline

This chapter introduces fundamental concepts of the layout engine responsible for servicing HTTP requests with the Sitecore ASP.NET web content management system (CMS). After you read this chapter, you will have a greater understanding of how to use these constructs to build web solutions with Sitecore.

Among other responsibilities, the layout engine applies logic and merges predefined markup and logic in the presentation components that you implement with content from the CMS. Each presentation component can access the entire Sitecore information architecture including all field values to which the context user has read access. In addition to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) extensions provided by Sitecore, your presentation components can access any APIs and XSL constructs available on the ASP.NET platform, including external systems, web services, RSS feeds, and other resources. As with any website, the markup that you generate can reference styling, JavaScript, media, and other resources managed in Sitecore, the document root of the website, or at external locations.

ASP.NET services HTTP requests by building ...

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