How To Switch Between The Core and Master Database in Sitecore

When a lot of newcomers start with Sitecore, one concept that people can struggle with is the difference between the Core, Master and Web databases. In most CMS systems you have a single database instance that stores everything related to your site.

In Sitecore things are a little different. In Sitecore we have three databases by default:

  • Master / Authoring : This database contains all versions of every Sitecore asset.
  • Core : All the Sitecore objects. If you want to customise Sitecore, this is the place you would define your custom objects.
  • Web : A lightweight database that only contains the latest published versions of Sitecore assets

After you first log into the Sitecore content editor, or Sitecore Desktop, by default, Sitecore will be rendering the Master database. A lot of people have commented that there is no visible indication on the desktop or the editor that shows which database version you are using, or how to switch Sitecore to use the Core, or, Web.

Checking which database is being used is very simple. On the desktop, at the bottom, next to the time, you should see a server looking icon:

sitecore_database_switching

If you click on the server icon, you should see a list of the databases. The current database Sitecore is using should have a little tick next to it:

sitecore_database_switching_1

One very handy feature you may notice is the ‘Show Database Name’ option, available at the top of the menu.

sitecore_database_switching_2

If you select this, then the database name will always be displayed on the desktop 🙂

Jon D Jones

Software Architect, Programmer and Technologist Jon Jones is founder and CEO of London-based tech firm Digital Prompt. He has been working in the field for nearly a decade, specializing in new technologies and technical solution research in the web business. A passionate blogger by heart , speaker & consultant from England.. always on the hunt for the next challenge

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  1. […] configure your Sitecore ribbon, switch your database to ‘Core’ (How To Switch Between The Core and Master Database in Sitecore). In here you will need to add a new panel. Navigate to ‘Content’ -> […]

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  3. […] your Sitecore desktop switch to the ‘core’ database (How To Switch Between The Core and Master Database in Sitecore). Open the content editor and navigate to ‘System’ -> ‘Dictionary’ -> […]

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