I always wondered why it's impossible to inherit from a publication that doesn't have a root structure group?

I'm pretty sure in 5.2 this wasn't the case (i may have made this up, it was a long time ago), and that this was introduced around 5.3, 2009?

It always catches out developers new to Tridion, and personally can see advantages of inheriting content without the need for structures.



3 Answers 3


It has always been a requirement in Tridion to have a Structure Group to enable Blueprinting. The right question to ask is "why doesn't Tridion create a structure group by default when I create a new publication?" and the answer is a complex and lengthy one...

The minor version of the reason why is that, back in the day when Tridion popped out of Arjan Van Rooijen's mind (and some others), and they decided to embrace XML and structured content as the way forward (to put this in context, we're talking before 1999), it was the intention that Tridion would be an Enterprise Content Management solution, not only WCM, in which case a Structure Group would not necessarily make sense.

Later on, when Blueprinting got added, Tridion's future was already focused on WCM more than ECM, and a Root Structure Group on the parent publication became a requirement to any blueprint tree. Adding this by default would cause compatibility issues, so there was a decision to not add it by default.

That's the short version. Should we add it into the product by default? Yes, I think so too, and it is in the roadmap with a rather low priority.

  • 1
    "why doesn't Tridion create a structure group by default when I create a new publication?" and the answer is a complex and lengthy one... I still think it should be possible without a structure group, why not just be optional? - am i missing something obvious here?
    – johnwinter
    Oct 8, 2013 at 17:54
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    Imagine the mess it would be when you created your Root SG later in the blueprint. Same mess as with creating a Publication without Root Folder. Dogmatic approach: because Blueprinting Rules state you must have only one Root Structure Group per blueprint tree.
    – Nuno Linhares
    Oct 8, 2013 at 18:02
  • It gets interesting when we also consider the "root" Categories & Keywords "organizational item" and External Content Libraries. The item that contains Categories isn't really a root, afaik. And we can configure ECLs lower in the BluePrint, right? Oct 8, 2013 at 20:52
  • As I recall, this requirement goes back way further than 5.0 - maybe all the way back to the beginning of BluePrinting. Saying that it's necessary "to enable BluePrinting" is kind of ducking John's question though, as I'm sure many people would like to know the technical reason why it's necessary. Oct 9, 2013 at 6:44
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    I recall that there /was/ a technical reason. For the definitive answer... cherche le Quebecois! :-) Oct 9, 2013 at 8:53

It always has been a requirement of a BluePrint structure to contain all root items, hence a root Structure Group is also required. The exact reason why I don't know, it's just a given fact.

The reason why there isn't a root Structure Group by default in a new Publication, is because in the R5.0 days there were customers who didn't use Tridion for a website and they didn't need Pages/Structure groups (and I guess they also didn't use BluePrinting).


The thing is that if you will first create a blueprint and then will start creating root structure group you might end up creating it down the blueprint and it will mean that you will not be able to create another structure groups in the parent publications which will screw up all your implementation as you will have to delete your complete website just to create it higher up in the blueprint.

The other question is why root structure group is not created by default, like Building Blocks folder, for example? The answer is that back in the day idea was that Publication will not be the only type of Repository and so not all of the repositories will require it.

  • it might be that you want a 'root' called 'home' and another 'root' called 'base' - this is my point
    – johnwinter
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:27
  • Based on this last point, I'm rooting for the home team. Oct 11, 2013 at 18:40

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