You need a Structure Group in order to create a child Publication.

I understand this is partly because Tridion could act as a "non-Web" content management system, without BluePrinting.

  1. Does such a setup or Publication have a specific (technical) name or properties that distinguish it from other Publications (that have Structure Groups)?
  2. In terms of history and features, was this BluePrinting-less mode ever advertised, sold, and/or implemented? In practical terms, I'm looking for the name of such a feature.

For context, I'm gathering BluePrint examples and would appreciate anything from background to what to call such a "single-Publication" BluePrint.

2 Answers 2


I don't think that such single-Publication/Repository "BluePrints" without Structure Groups are ever used in practice.

Once upon a time there was this idea to sell/license different Editions of Tridion R5 and one of the differences between those Editions was the maximum allowed BluePrint depth. I think the cheapest Edition (targeting Small Businesses) had a maximum BluePrint depth of 1, meaning you can only have top-level (root) Publications and not actually have BluePrinting at all. I would say a rather silly license model for a system which has BluePrinting as its Unique Selling Point, and I don't think such Editions were ever actually sold.

Note, however, that even this extremely resticted license did allow you to create Structure Groups in those Publications (otherwise you also can't really publish much, making them even more useless :-)

Note that I'm sometimes referring to Publications as Repositories. You also find both concepts in the CM domain model (Core Service and TOM.NET). The idea is that all Publications are Repositories, but not all Repositories are Publications.

That is: the term Publication suggests that it is used for publishing, but that is not the case for all Publications in a BluePrint; you can argue that a BluePrint consists of several Repositories and some of those are Publications (typically the ones lower down in the BluePrint).

The distinction between Repository and Publication does not surface in the UI, though. Nor is it currently possible in the CM API to create a Repository which is not a Publication (class Repository is currently an abstract base class).

Nevertheless, if you ask me how I would call a Publication without Structure Groups (which is probably not used for publishing, unless you only publish DCPs), I would call it a Repository.

  • Exactly what I was looking for, thanks! I understand the R5 Editions included Entry, Professional, and Enterprise Foundation editions (along with an Intranet Edition). I didn't realize the BluePrint depth was related to these. Apr 28, 2017 at 14:49

I don't believe I've ever heard of a special name for such Publications. I've heard of (and used) the term "primary Parent Publication" (for those which are at the very top of a BluePrint), but I don't think that's quite the same thing as you're describing (albeit related).

Sorry, I'm not old enough to comment on whether it was previously advertised as a feature ;)

Could you really call such a situation a "BluePrint"? It would not use any features of BluePrinting. Maybe it should be called a non-BluePrintable Publication, or perhaps a structure-less Publication (who knows, it may be possible to add children to them in the future)

  • For clarity: the term Primary Parent Publication/Repository is used in context of a given Repository Local Object; it is the "highest" Repository in the BluePrint where the item (RLO) exists. This is not per se the very top of the BluePrint (the BluePrint Root Publication). Apr 27, 2017 at 11:49
  • @RickPannekoek I think that statement conflicts with the documentation linked above? "A primary Parent Publication contains items to share to all Publications in the BluePrint. When you create Child associations with other Publications, the Child Publication contains shared structure, design, and content items. Each BluePrint contains one primary Parent Publication, which must have a root Structure Group." Apr 27, 2017 at 11:52
  • Interesting... then the meaning of the term is different in documentation than in the CM domain model. That's confusing! Thanks for pointing this out. Apr 27, 2017 at 12:07

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