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The traditional way to display a different language or content for a site in Tridion is to have the web publication publish its website in a different folder.

DD4T has a Publication Id that is set in the web.config to tell it which Publication to look for when querying the Broker database.

Is there a way to remove this so that the same DD4T application can be used to display content in different languages/from different publications?

If so, what needs to be thought about in order for this to work?

Is there a more optimal way to do this that gives more of a traditional approach e.g using MkLink to symlink many web folders so deployments are easier?

I would like to avoid having to deploy my application multiple times if possible.

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Yes it can. In short: implement a mechanism to find the corresponding publicationId for a request/url. Luckily this is part of DD4T, thanks to Quirijn. Read more about it on his blog:

http://blog.trivident.com/dd4t-web-publication-resolving/

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So yes, it is possible to host more than one site on a DD4T implementation. You need to write your own IPublicationResolver and map it. Or You could borrow any of these two publication resolvers from DXA:

Using the dynamic_conf.xml from the config folder to resolve the publication id:

https://github.com/sdl/dxa-web-application-dotnet/blob/f490a838b9c5f8b144eb59c6a4e1c88b18edb632/Sdl.Web.Tridion/CdConfigLocalizationResolver.cs

or

Using the discovery service (Web 8) to resolve the publication id:

https://github.com/sdl/dxa-web-application-dotnet/blob/f490a838b9c5f8b144eb59c6a4e1c88b18edb632/Sdl.Web.Tridion/CdApiLocalizationResolver.cs

Good luck!

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