I would have thought the answer would be yes, but I'm getting the following error when attempting to do so:

Unable to save item
Root Category must be an inheritance root.

I'm editing the hierarchy parent Category and just changing its name (keeping XML Name untouched). Seems like a really simple thing (but I'm stymied).

I can't seem to find reference to this error message anywhere to help me determine what I need to do. The only reference in the Tridion docs to an "inheritance root" is:

An inheritance root is an item that does not inherit from a Parent and that has unique permission settings.

But these are inherited, non-localized Categories that don't have permissions/security settings applied to them (and I'm a system administrator).

Thanks for any help or insight.

  • Are you using core service or tom.net api for updating category name?
    – Hiren Kaku
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 5:30
  • I'm just trying to use the GUI for the update.
    – J Stuart
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 15:17

2 Answers 2


Categories are always "Root" items. It is therefore necessary that they contain the permissions for their children, as these can not be inherited from above. The category is where the children (keywords) inherit their permissions from. If no permissions are configured, then that is what will be inherited.

So it's a fixed part of Tridion's application logic that a category must be an inheritance root. If you use the core service to read a category, you will see that it has a property: IsPermissionsInheritanceRoot, which will be true. If you create a CategoryData object and try to save it without ensuring that this property is true, you will fall foul of this validation rule.

You might wonder why a category has this property, seeing as it always has to be true. This is because the property is shared with all organizational items. On a folder which inherits from above, it will be false.

I've just seen your comment that you are using the GUI for this. In that case, you have a bug. This is most likely in SDL's code, but you should also consider GUI extensions and events system code.

  • Hey Dominic, this is helpful information about inheritance root items - thank you. I have a support ticket open and it does seem to be a bug. Cheers.
    – J Stuart
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 19:20

Do you have any customizations in place that would affect this? I just modified a category with a deep hierarchy of keywords under it and it saved without incident.

  • No customizations on save that I can think of (we do have something on publishing of a category).
    – J Stuart
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 19:23
  • I just double-checked our event system code and we only subscribe to publish initiated events for categories.
    – J Stuart
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 19:34
  • It sounds like I just need to submit a ticket to SDL since you're able to change the name as expected. I'll get that going and if I find out the resolution, I'll post it back here (for posterity).
    – J Stuart
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 19:36
  • you may want to enable tracing and then check the logs and see what actions are taking behind the scenes... might show if it's something in your event handler Commented May 26, 2016 at 11:59

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