For a client I have a behavior that can be interpreted as strange.

We have a development installation and a production installation of Tridion on 2 different environments. The development installation is a copy of the production one.

On the production environment an unpublish of a multimedia component unpublish also all pages where this component is used. In the "Show Items to Unpublish" we see also all this pages. So this means that when the client unpublish a pdf file used on a lot of pages that all this pages are unpublished.

On our development environment only the multimedia component is unpublished and links are deactivated. In the "Show Items to Unpublish" nothing is displayed.

If I'm correct than the behavior on our development environment is the logical behavior. But is there an explanation why this is different on our production environment? Is this maybe a setting somewhere that we missed?

Thanks for the support.


Actually, both behaviors may be correct. Whenever you unpublish something, Tridion (using the Resolver mechanism) will try to figure out what needs to be unpublished to remove that object from Content Delivery.

Basically, it will check what was used to publish that item in the first place, then go about its business of unpublishing it. Items are never published by themselves, they always depend on a Page or Component Template.

If you want to unpublish (or publish) components without affecting the pages that contain them, then you should use Dynamic Component Templates. Please verify if that's not the case in Development.

Also, be aware that Resolver logic will only apply to items that are already published to the target in question. If in Dev your pages are not published to the same target you're trying to unpublish from, then the pages will not show in the "Show items to unpublish" dialog (because they're not published).

  • Does this count also for multimedia components? – Glenn Franquet Apr 7 '14 at 11:51
  • 2
    Any Tridion item. If the MM component is published from a Component Template, and that component template is dynamic, then Tridion will unpublish it. If that Component template is static, then Tridion will unpublish the page that contains it. – Nuno Linhares Apr 7 '14 at 11:54

As Nuno explained, this is expected behavior, I often am tempted to reply to this question with another question: "What did you expect would happen?". The answer to which are mostly in the lines of how the Multimedia Components are used.

Guessing here, but you might have linked to the Multimedia Component via a Component Link in your Schema. In your Template you probably have written out a Binary Link (Dynamic Component Link to a Multimedia Component) for this.

So you are expecting that since you use a dynamic link, when you unpublish the Multimedia Component, the Page remains and your dynamic link will just disappear (or just show text and no link anymore).

But a Component Link in a Schema is not only used for Dynamic Links, actually that is not at all what was thought of initially. It is intended to embed the content of the linked Component, so when you unpublish a Component you link to, SDL Tridion expects you will also want to unpublish whatever embeds it. Hence that it will unpublish your Page(s).


There are basically two options to change this behavior, neither are trivial:

  1. changeover to a Dynamic Component Presentation for your Multimedia Components
  2. change the link propagation, you will need to write a resolver which will remove the Pages when you publish/unpublish multimedia Components
  • Ok but how to explain the difference between the dev and the prod environment? I did a compare of the fields ALLOWED_ON_PAGE, PUBLISH_TO_REPOSITORY, DYNAMIC_TEMPLATE and OUTPUT_FORMAT in the items table with a filter on item_type equal to 32 in the cm database for both environments and they are the same. Can this be explained with differences in the storage config? – Glenn Franquet Apr 7 '14 at 13:21
  • @GlennFranquet, I think Nuno explained that pretty well in his answer (see the last paragraph), could be something as simple as those Pages not actually being Published on that environment to the selected Publication Target. – Bart Koopman Apr 7 '14 at 13:56
  • Pages are published on both environments. To be sure of that I did a republish of the pages on the dev environement via pages but also via the multimedia component before I posted this question. – Glenn Franquet Apr 7 '14 at 14:03
  • @GlennFranquet if the Templates and Publish status of all items are the same then I would have no explanation. Sounds like your environments are not completely as in sync as you expect though... – Bart Koopman Apr 7 '14 at 14:11
  • Seems that there is indeed something wrong on the dev environment. I did some test on the dev environment of another client and there an unpublish of a multimedia component does also an unpublish of pages where a component with a link to the multimedia component is on. If we don't want this behavior do we have to change all component templates to dynamic then? This is not very interesting I think for content pages without logic. – Glenn Franquet Apr 7 '14 at 15:14

Check component template for the multimedia component. If it's dynamic component template then links will be deactivated, if it's static - entire pages will be unpublished.

  • There are no component templates directly linked with the multimedia schema. But we have multimedia component links in other schemas with dynamic and static component templates. – Glenn Franquet Apr 7 '14 at 11:53

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