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In the original methods used to set up page layouts (Standard Values and Branches) I was able to predefine a set of renderings without data sources applied, that could be wired up when the page was created.

Unless I am missing something, this does not seem to be the approach with SXA and partials? It seems that you have to have the data sources applied in the partial design, which cannot then be modified on the page itself? Is this correct or am I missing something? Unless the rendering has a placeholder and then you can add additional renderings when the page is created.

N.B. I'm guessing that a workaround would be to have the data source templates inherited by the page, but that seems to contradict the proposed flexible nature of SXA partial.

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So in the end I came up with a hack that satisfies both the content authors need for being able to select data-sources for renderings on a page, and have SXA add in the more static renderings like headers, footers etc.

I started by creating a Branch Template based on the Page Template I wanted to use.

I then created an item based off of the page template which I then hooked up to a Partial Page Design in the Page Design Field.

I then went in to the experience editor for that page item, and added all the components, set all the styles, widths etc.

I then enabled raw values and took a copy of the Final Rendering field and put that in the Final Rendering field of the $name item of my Branch Template.

Finally I went into Presentation Details on the $name item, and removed any links to any data-sources and saved.

It works like a charm, but I know its a hack!

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