Table of Contents

Field Data Type: Entity (List of Entity-Items)

This explains Entity Fields. For an overview check out Understanding Data....

Entity or Item data is a basic data type and is used to mark item-relationships, like books-to-authors or blog-to-tags.


The basic entity field simply allows you to select items of a specific type, with various add/remove/create/delete features.

Sub-Types of Entity Fields

  1. entity-default - standard selector with type, add/remove, one/multi, delete, etc.
  2. entity-query for picking entities which were pre-processed in a query

Shared Settings

All Entity-Field Types have the following settings:

  • Basic
    • Entity Type
  • Advanced UI Settings
    • Multiple Items
    • Enable Edit
    • Enable Create New
    • Enable Add Existing
    • Enable Remove
    • Enable Delete

Specials of the Entity type:

The entity-type has these specials it's good to know about

  1. It's always a list
  2. It preserves the relationship order

Special #1: It's always a List

Since it could contain 1 or many items (and the configuration can change whenever you want), reading it always means reading a list. So you'll always use something like this (C#):

// full name of author
var fn = Book.Author[0].FullName; 

// in case you're not sure if the author was added or null, you can do
var fn2 = (Book.Author.Any() ? Book.Author[0].FirstOrDefault : "");

// This will also work in newer versions of C#
// making fullName either the name, or a null
var fn3 = Book.Author.FirstOrDefault()?.FullName;

// the following won't work!
var wontWork = Book.Author.FullName; // this won't work

Or the same in JavaScript:

var fn = Book.Author[0].FullName;

// in case you're not sure if it has any
// this uses the JS-syntax which returns the last-value of an && condition  
var fn = Book.Author && Book.Author[0].FullName;

Special #2: It preserves Order

If the user said a book has 2 authors:

  1. Daniel
  2. Abraham

Then it's sometimes useful to preserve the order - in this case Daniel was probably the main author and Abraham helped out a bit. To allow for this, the Entity field will keep the order of items as they were added.

Side-effect: Sometimes you want to have an A-Z order when showing items. As the order is not auto-sorted, you will have to do this yourself if you want to have them sorted. Use LINQ to do that.

Technical Information

Storage in the SQL Database in the EAV-Model

This is stored in a special relationships-table, so internally the current DB IDs are used to track relationships.

Storage in the SQL Database in the JSON-Model

This is stored as an array of strings, which contain the GUIDs of the related information.

Null Values not Possible

These fields will never return a null. If there is no content, you'll just get an empty list.

Read also


  1. Introduced in EAV 1.0 / 2sxc 1.0
  2. Changed in EAV 3.0 / 2sxc 6.0 (it used to have many configuration fields for all kinds of uses, which were then moved to sub-types)
  3. Enhanched in EAV 4 / 2sxc 7 when item-delete was introduced, to allow for "private" items