We're using Sitecore 8.1 Update 2 and have an issue where there is an instance where we have are a few hundred items under a single Parent item in our site. These child items show fine in the Content Editor Treeview, if a little slow to load them. I know best practice is to limit this to 100-200 items, it is however usable without converting the parent item to a Bucket. Re-architecting the structure at this stage isn't really an option.

However when using the Link Browser it shows the parent item but won't let me browse the child items. I get this error:

ERROR: No data from server

Update - here is a screenshot showing the parent item high-lighted with a red circle and the children failing to load.

enter image description here

Is there a hard limit on the number of items that the Link Browser support?

Eventually I want to convert these to a bucket but I'm looking for an interim solution in the short term.

  • Do you get the error only for this particular tree or all (i.e. ones with only a few items under the parent)?
    – jammykam
    Jan 9, 2017 at 14:37
  • @jammykam yeah I can browse and select other parent items with 300-500 children but not this one. I think this has a thousand or more items though from looking again at how many there are. It seems odd that the Tree view is working fine but not the Insert Internal Link Modal. Jan 9, 2017 at 14:46
  • @aseabridge is it generic link field and when you try to open insert link option on the modal dialog where it is being opened you are getting this error? Jan 10, 2017 at 16:58
  • @MrunalDaftari yes it's a general link field and is happening on all templates when I click to browse for a link and select this parent item with lots of children. I've added an screenshot to my question showing you when this is happening. It's when I click the arrow next to the item hight-lighted with a red circle. It looks to be an issue with the Sitecore js file when it's trying to get the child items. Jan 10, 2017 at 18:00
  • 1
    @aseabridge can you try increasing below value in sitecore.config file and see what happens? you can read description and then make proper call. <setting name="LinkDatabase.MaximumBatchSize" value="1000" /> Jan 10, 2017 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


I figured this out.

I made the update to change the value of LinkDatabase.MaximumBatchSize to 1000 as suggested and it didn't work.

        <setting name="LinkDatabase.MaximumBatchSize">
            <patch:attribute name="value">1000</patch:attribute>

I then looked at the console in more detail in Chrome and saw this error:

"Error during serialization or deserialization using the JSON JavaScriptSerializer. The length of the string exceeds the value set on the maxJsonLength property."

After some Googling I found I can update this via the web.config like so:

<system.web.extensions xdt:Transform="Insert">
                <jsonSerialization maxJsonLength="2147483647"/>

Again this didn't work :-(. I think the Json Serialization code ignores this setting.

Then I came across this Blog Post by Dirk Schäfauer: https://seitenkern.com/2014/03/28/sitecore-7-mvc-json-serialization-and-maxjsonlength/

This post says I need A custom JsonSerializer, a PreprocessRequest Pipeline and .config to patch in my pipeline. This code is outdated for 8.1 though so I've updated it below:


namespace SitecoreContrib.Serialization
      public class LargeJsonSerializer : ISerializer
        public string SerializedDataMediaType
            get { return "application/json"; }

        public string Serialize(object value)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(value, "value");
            var scriptSerializer = new JavaScriptSerializer { MaxJsonLength = 2097152 };
            var setting = Settings.GetSetting("JsonSerialization.MaxLength");
            int result;
            if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(setting) && !scriptSerializer.MaxJsonLength.ToString(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture).Equals(setting, StringComparison.InvariantCultureIgnoreCase) && int.TryParse(setting, out result))
                scriptSerializer.MaxJsonLength = result;
            return scriptSerializer.Serialize(value);


namespace SitecoreContrib.Serialization.Pipelines.PreprocessRequest
      public class RewriteUrlForLargeJsonResponse : RewriteUrl
        public override void Process(PreprocessRequestArgs arguments)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull((object)arguments, "arguments");
                string localPath = arguments.Context.Request.Url.LocalPath;
                if (!localPath.StartsWith("/-/item/"))
                Sc.ItemWebApi.Context.Current = new Sc.ItemWebApi.Context
                    Serializer = (ISerializer)new LargeJsonSerializer(),
                    Version = GetVersion(localPath),
                    ResponseOutputBuilder = new ResponseOutputBuilder()
            catch (Exception ex)

        private static int GetVersion(string path)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull((object)path, "path");
            string str = path.TrimStart('/').Split('/')[2];
            Assert.IsTrue(str.StartsWith("v"), "Version token is wrong.");
            int result;
            Assert.IsTrue(int.TryParse(str.Replace("v", string.Empty), out result), "Version not recognized.");
            return result;

        private static void Rewrite(HttpContext context)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull((object)context, "context");
            Uri url = context.Request.Url;
            string[] strArray1 = url.LocalPath.TrimStart('/').Split('/');
            int length = strArray1.Length - 3;
            string[] strArray2 = new string[length];
            Array.Copy((Array)strArray1, 3, (Array)strArray2, 0, length);
            string str1 = string.Format("/{0}", (object)string.Join("/", strArray2));
            string str2 = url.Query.TrimStart('?');
            WebUtil.RewriteUrl(new UrlString
                Path = str1,
                Query = str2


        <processor type="SitecoreContrib.Serialization.Pipelines.PreprocessRequest.RewriteUrlForLargeJsonResponse, SitecoreContrib.Serialization" patch:instead="*[@type='Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.PreprocessRequest.RewriteUrl, Sitecore.ItemWebApi']" />
      <!-- JsonSerialization.MaxLength
           Specifies the maximum length of JSON strings which can be serialized by the JsonSerializer.
           Value is specified in bytes. Default value: 2097152 (2 MB)
      <setting name="JsonSerialization.MaxLength" value="2147483647" />

Thats it, this should work well and load large json datasets for you when you have lots of sub-items.

  • Thanks for posting this fix, worked perfectly for me on my 8.2 instance May 4, 2018 at 9:56

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