I have a list of "modules" that I want to load depending on what template the current item is based on. This selection needs to be overridable. So I created a module loader component that has a datasource pointing to a folder that contains these modules. I iterate through the children of the folder, pull the RenderingReference and generate a new rendering. Finally I call the mvc.renderRendering pipeline. This seems to work great, but it does limit me some. The Parameters = ... line doesn't pull the parameters from the RenderingContext as this is a generic reference to the rendering and not the item's rendering properties.

So my question is, is there a better way to accomplish my overall goal here of loading dynamic items? Or can I get the parameters from my items?

foreach (Item childItem in item.Children)
    var renderings = childItem.Visualization.GetRenderings(Context.Device, false);

    if (renderings.Length > 0)
        var rendering = new Rendering
            RenderingItem = renderings[0].RenderingItem,
            Item = childItem,
            Parameters = new RenderingParameters(renderings[0].RenderingItem.Parameters)

        var writer = new StringWriter();
        var args = new RenderRenderingArgs(rendering, writer);
        PipelineService.Get().RunPipeline("mvc.renderRendering", args);

        output += writer.ToString();

2 Answers 2


It seems that my code is solid practice, so I did some more digging and found a way to solve my problem of getting the parameters from any given item. I made this into an extension method and I call it when instantiating my rendering.

var layout = LayoutDefinition.Parse(LayoutField.GetFieldValue(item.Fields["__Renderings"]));

if (layout != null && layout.Devices != null && layout.Devices.Count > 0)
    var device = (DeviceDefinition)layout.Devices[0];

    if (device != null)
        var renderings = device.Renderings;

        if (renderings != null)
            var writer = new StringWriter();
            var renderingDefinition = renderings.Cast<RenderingDefinition>();
            var parameters = renderingDefinition.FirstOrDefault().Parameters;

            return parameters;

return null;

Thanks to this blog by aceanindita I found: https://techmusingz.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/programmatically-access-sitecore-item-presentation/


The Controller Renderer

For a while now, I've been using an approach not too dissimilar to what you describe here. In essence, it involves looping over children, picking up a controller name and an action (not too different from your GetRenderings call) and then executing the controller renderings.

Now for my uses, all I need is a specific Datasource for each rendering. But the Rendering I create can also be initialized with RenderingParameters.

The core of it all lies in this bit of code:

var r = new Rendering {DataSource = item.Paths.FullPath};

using (RenderingContext.EnterContext(r))
    var runner = new ControllerRunner(controller, action);
    var result = runner.Execute();
    return new HtmlString(result);

It's not as generic as your approach; but personally I would never consider anything but Controller Renderings on any solution I'm involved in. I found this to be superior in terms of flexibility.

  • I'm aware of your preference for ControllerRenderings, which I appreciate. I typically use them myself. Does this support Areas? And how do you get controller and action ? I this inside of a Controller?
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 17:19
  • Controller and Action are actually part of any template. They are traditionally used with something else entirely (Item Renderings) which I have never really worked out how to use properly. But they are quite suitable for this purpose as well.
    – Mark Cassidy
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 17:38
  • Does this honor cache settings?
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 19:50
  • No. But the result you get here is a HtmlString representation of the rendering. This would go into a model of your "outer" rendering - which can and should be cached.
    – Mark Cassidy
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 22:05

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