Tracking References

    Property editors can be extended further to track entity references that may be selected or referenced inside the property editor. For example in the core of the CMS we have added this to several property editors.

    A good example of this is the Media Picker where the CMS stores a reference to what media item was picked and thus allows to see what content nodes are using a media item. This avoids it being accidentally deleted if it is being used.

    When a content node is saved it will save the entity references as relations.

    Viewing References

    For media items you can view the list of references by clicking the Info content app on a specific media item.

    Viewing media references

    For content nodes you can view the list of references as relations in the Settings section under the Relation Types folder and viewing the Related Document relations.

    Viewing document references


    The following example shows how to implement tracking for the inbuilt CMS property editor Content Picker, where it will always add a specific media reference regardless of what value is picked in the content picker. In your own implementations you will need to parse the value stored from the property editor you are implmenting and find any references to picked items in order to track their references.

    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using Umbraco.Core;
    using Umbraco.Core.Models;
    using Umbraco.Core.Models.Editors;
    using Umbraco.Core.PropertyEditors;
    namespace Umbraco.Web.PropertyEditors
        public class ExampleComposer : IUserComposer
            public void Compose(Composition composition)
        public class TrackingExample : IDataValueReferenceFactory, IDataValueReference
            public IDataValueReference GetDataValueReference() => this;
            // Which Data Editor (Data Type) does this apply to - in this example it is the built in content picker of Umbraco
            public bool IsForEditor(IDataEditor dataEditor) => dataEditor.Alias.InvariantEquals(Constants.PropertyEditors.Aliases.ContentPicker);
            public IEnumerable<UmbracoEntityReference> GetReferences(object value)
                // Value contains the raw data that is being saved for a property editor
                // You can then analyse this data be it a complex JSON structure or something more trivial
                // To add the chosen entities as references (as any UDI type including custom ones)
                // A very simple example
                // This will always ADD a specific media reference to the collection list
                // When it's a ContentPicker datatype
                var references = new List<UmbracoEntityReference>();
                var udiType = ObjectTypes.GetUdiType(UmbracoObjectTypes.Media);
                var udi = Udi.Create(udiType, Guid.Parse("fbbaa38d-bd93-48b9-b1d5-724c46b6693e"));
                var entityRef = new UmbracoEntityReference(udi);
                return references;