I have a really odd problem when saving a Sitecore item. Locally, everything is fine. However, when deployed to our dev environment (which uses the same db and SOLR instance), I get:

The parent item of {{item name}} was not serialized. You cannot have a
sparse serialized tree. You may need to serialize this item's parents.

It's strange it works on one environment but not the other. Especially when using the same databases.


This is a Unicorn/Rainbow error that occurs when the item being saved (serialized to disc) does not have its parent item serialized.

This indicates that you are using Unicorn not only on your local machine, but also on your development server. In general, in most development processes there should be no reason to use Unicorn on a development server, especially with Sitecore data providers patched (see Unicorn.DataProvider.config). So make sure Unicorn's binaries and configuration don't get deployed. Apart from fixing your issue, your deployments will become simpler and cleaner.

If you do need to use Unicorn in that environment, make sure that you also maintain an up-to-date copy of your serialized items in Unicorn's folder. You can do that in two ways:

  • deploy serialized items together with the application;
  • or, in case the Sitecore databases are already up to date, use the Unicorn Control Panel to manually serialize all items to disc.
  • Have just doubled checked. This setting is set to false – Michael Dickens Oct 6 '16 at 16:08
  • 1
    Transparent sync usually has no bearing on this error. This happens when you, for example, included /sitecore/content, and are saving /sitecore/content/Home/Foo, but /sitecore/content/Home does not exist on the disk. I would guess that you perhaps deployed your serialization configurations but not the actual serialized files for them. In which case you probably do want to disable the DataProvider config as it suggests in its comments. – Kam Figy Oct 6 '16 at 19:41
  • @KamFigy Thank you! I have updated my answer. – Dmytro Shevchenko Oct 6 '16 at 20:12
  • @DmytroShevchenko I reserialized all items and that worked a treat. Many thanks! – Michael Dickens Oct 7 '16 at 10:26

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