Topology Manager introduces the concepts of Web Site and Web Applications.

One use case for these are a base url for a "main" publishable (say .com) website with child publications. For example you might have:

Example Web Site: http://example.com

Web Applications "locations":

  • /en-US
  • /nl-NL
  • /es-MX
  • /es-SP
  • / (the default root)


  1. Are these Web Application paths always appended after the root? Could you instead have a different domain suffix (.nl) or domain prefix (nl.example.com) per url/Web Application?

  2. How do Publication Path, Publication URLs, and the Root Structure Group path relate to the Web Application paths in terms of order?

  3. If upgrading to Web 8 and taking advantage of Topology Manager, would you replace either Publication Paths or URLs to take advantage of the Web Application paths?


  • Added an example to make sure I understand the answer.
  • Struck out "Applications" to avoid confusing these paths or locations with Topology Manager's view of "Web Application"


Notes and terminology:

  • http://www.example.com:80/ is the "authority"
  • Publication URLs in Web 8 without a leading slash are context-relative. A completely empty Publication URL is also context-relative.
  • Including a slash makes the Publication URL "server-relative" (there for backwards compatibility)
  • Multiple mappings can map multiple Publications to a single Web Application

1 Answer 1


Note that your example URL paths may or may not be Web Applications in Topology Manager. For example: a DXA Web Application can resolve such URL paths to different Publications; there is only one physical Web Application (root level), but it can serve several Publications distinguished by the first part of the URL path. In this scenario, there is one Website and one Web Application (default/root) in Topology Manager. The URL path to Publication mapping is done through Mappings with distict Relative URL in Topology Manager. So, your example URL paths could be the Relative URLs of 5 Mappings in Topology Manager.

  1. Websites have one or more Base URLs, consisting of the "authority" part of the URL (protocol, domain name, port). Web Applications have a Context URL, which is the first part of the URL path.

  2. As mentioned above, TTM Mappings can have a Relative URL, which is the next part of the URL path (under the Web App Context URL).

  3. The Publication URL (if any) forms the next part of the URL path. This is called a "context-relative Publication URL" (which is a new concept in Web 8; context-relative Publication URL do not start with a slash). For backwards compatibility, Publication URLs can also be "server-relative" (if they start with a slash).

  4. The rest of the URL path is formed by the directory names of SGs, file name of Page and file extension of PT.

  5. The Publication Path has no impact on the URL and may be completely irrelevant (for example, it is irrelevant for DXA which doesn't publish to file system and only relies on URL lookups).

  6. When migrating to Topology Manager based publishing, it makes sense to make your Publication URLs "context-relative" (see above; often this means just make the Publication URL completely empty) to prevent maintaining the first part of the URL path in two places.

More questions? :-)

Oh, let me elaborate on your first question: a single (physical) DXA Web Application can also serve multiple distinct "authorities" (i.e. different protocols, domains and/or ports). In that case, there is only one physical Web Application, but you will have to create multiple Websites in Topology Manager: one for each distinct Base URL. Each Website has its own distinct (default/root) Web Application in Topology Manager.

  • Excellent, thanks Rick. Can the "authority" part of the url for a Web Site include anything beyond the port number (e.g. example.com:80/something)? Mar 23, 2016 at 17:13
  • Can I assume that where you write 'DXA Web Application' I can read 'any Web Application'?
    – Quirijn
    Mar 23, 2016 at 17:32
  • 1
    The "authority" part of the URL per definition (see URI spec) does not include anything beyond the port number. In Topology Manager, the first part of the URL path is either the Context URL of a Web Application or the Relative URL of a Mapping (or neither). Mar 23, 2016 at 18:31
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    I intentionally mentioned "DXA Web Application" because it contains URL mapping functionality. Other Web Applications may also have that functionality, but it requires explicit code in the Web Application. Having said that, any Web Application can be represented in Topology Manager. Mar 23, 2016 at 18:34
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    Just one extra thing I found: if you use a server-relative publication url (starting with the slash) AND a mapping with a context path, they have to match or the mapping will fail. So if my publication property says ' /en' and my context mapping is anything other than 'en', I won't be able to create the mapping.
    – Quirijn
    May 3, 2016 at 8:09

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