Sitecore 8.1 Update 3


I have created rendering templates that are composed of several base templates. Its actually a single template for each column in this case.

  • RenderingParameter_Column1 (template)
    • Column 1 (section)
      • Vertical Alignment (field)

When I look at the standard values for the rendering parameter template, the sections Column 1 and Column 2 are being honored in the display.

enter image description here

But when looking at the rendering parameters, it always shows the 1st section in the list of base templates templates. If Column 1 is the high ordered template, it shows Column 1. If I reorder so Column 2 is highest, it shows Column 2.enter image description here

Reason it fails

From debugging, I found the reason they are grouped together is because the field names, Vertical Alignment, are the same. If I rename the field, it works as expected. Maybe its a Sitecore bug.

1 Answer 1


Sections are irrelevant

In short. Sections only serve to group clusters of fields together for usability and UX purposes. From a data perspective, identical field names on one template has never been supported. And even if we can get around this to some extend by referencing fields by their ID, it remains an unsupported practice.

From the dated (but still valid) Data Definition Reference, we learn:

2.1.1 Data Template Fields

A data template field defines the user interface control and other properties that influence how the field behaves in the Content Editor and Page Editor. For more information about fields, see Chapter 4, The Template Field.

Note When defining field names, ensure that they are unique even between field sections. Both XSLT and .NET code use field names alone, without reference to sections, to extract content from fields.

Source: Sitecore: How to access same field name in different sections

Furthermore, they are UrlEncoded

Rendering Templates or not; you are really just adding regular parameters to your rendering. The templates gives you a bit better control and allows you to use smarter fields like Droplinks, Checkboxes and so on. But it ends up like this:

enter image description here

And the resulting XML Element in the __Renderings field:

<r uid="{43222D12-08C9-453B-AE96-D406EBB95126}"
   s:par="parameter1=test&amp;parameter2=another%2520test" /></d></r>

Notice how it UrlEncodes it, as Key/Value pairs based on Field Name (not ID).

In Summary

It's by design. Or at least a known limitation that has been in place for as long as I've worked with the product.


I realise you're not specifically asking about this (yet), as you're experiencing odd behaviour in the UI. But you're walking on unsupported ground, which is what I wanted to point out. Even if the UI didn't bug out, you would not get the final result you were expecting.

For the record; Sections can be re-ordered. They respect the __SortOrder field - but it takes a little planning across your templates, to get it right.

  • 1
    I didn't even think about that Mark, item with identical field names from inheritance. That's my bad. Thank you.
    – Chris Auer
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 0:34

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