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I am trying to understand the logic or mechanism behind the function to unpublish an item.

It seems like Sitecore doesn't check and warn us during the unpublish process that the item to be unpublished has any sub items (i.e. alias) and pages linked to it, Am I right?

If so, what would happen to these sub items and links? showing a 404 Page?

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You're right. Sitecore doesn't warn during unpublish process that if the item is unpublished, all the links pointing to that item will not work anymore. And that all the links which point at descendants of that item won't work neither.

Similarly, if you create a new item and add a link pointing to that item in master database, and you publish only the link, without publishing your new item, the link won't work neither.

You should handle those situations in your code to make sure there is no error page displayed for the users because of some null reference exceptions. And you should make your content editors aware that they should check if what they published or unpublished doesn't have impact on end users.

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  • Thanks Marek for your explanation. It was a bit disappointing to learn that Sitecore doesn't take care this sort of simple data integrity issue especially for such an expensive platform – Roman Loh Jan 23 '19 at 23:45
  • Wondering if there's any possible solution to this issue like a custom module from sitecore marketplace ? – Roman Loh Jan 23 '19 at 23:53
  • I don't think there is anything available there now. You can try writing something like that on your own. I think good place to start would be checking how Delete item command checks for possible broken links. – Marek Musielak Jan 24 '19 at 7:08

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