December 27, 2015

Decoding Publish Settings in DXA

Decoding Publish Settings in DXA.
DXA has few system pages like Html-design, _navigation and “Publish Settings”, out of these Publish Settings is the one which boots an DXA application and considered as the very important system page.
Publish setting provides intelligence to the MVC application to get it work faster and isolated from CMS.
How does it choose what to publish?
So DXA provides a schema called Module Configuration. Whenever a module is created, a component of this schema is created you define the module name, version and related dependencies of it.

Whenever Publish-settings is published. It searches for the all components created with this schema
& generate files which store as binaries in the Broker DB. Above picture is of Core component (Module-Configuration schema). If you see it has listed configuration and Resource dependencies of this module.
Files Generated –  (each files starts with its module name)
/System/config
-          Core.json  - Contains all the configuration values(combined)  from attached components above
-          Core.schemas.json – contains name and id of all the schema of this module
-          Core.taxonomies.json – contain all taxonomies of the system.
There is another file _all.json in this directory which actually list all above files and few other environment settings.
/System/Resources
-          Core.json – a combined file of the entire resource component attached in module configuration.
/System/Mappings
We can say it is master data of schemas & templates, this is not module dependent files but global files.
-          Schemas.json - it contains all the schemas’ definitions from the CMS.
-          Regions.json - it has details of all the regions and details of component template where it’s used, along with linked schema of CT.
-          Includes.json – it contains all the Page Template Ids and associated includes in that PT.
So this is wealth of information required/used by DXA for various purposes.
It needs schemas. Json to map field values to the respective entity, Semantics and XPM in MVC application. So whenever there is change in schema you have to publish “Publish settings” page to reflect the change in application.
Any change in schema CT’s Region and PT’s includes require users to publish this page. Otherwise you will spend hours to figure out where the heck are my changes.
When DXA boots it loads _all.json of config and resources to read all the respective files and download all these under BinaryData folder of your application’ root directory.


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