Extending or Creating Pipelines

Pipelines are extended by adding or replacing processors. Extending a pipeline involves modifying the pipeline definition located in a Sitecore patch file.

The following is an example of how the Sitecore patch file Sitecore.Analytics.config extends the pipeline httpRequestBegin:

  <processor type="Sitecore.Analytics.Pipelines.HttpRequest.StartDiagnostics,Sitecore.Analytics" patch:after="processor[@type='Sitecore.Pipelines.HttpRequest.StartMeasurements, Sitecore.Kernel']" />
  <processor type="Sitecore.Analytics.Pipelines.HttpRequest.PageLevelTestItemResolver,Sitecore.Analytics" patch:after="processor[@type='Sitecore.Pipelines.HttpRequest.ItemResolver, Sitecore.Kernel']" />

Creating and Configuring a Processor

To extend a pipeline, you must either replace an existing processor or add a custom processor. If you are replacing an existing pipeline, be sure to check for updates to that pipeline when you upgrade Sitecore.

Most processors are specified by type only, but there are other ways to specify a processor.

  • Description: Only the processor type is specified
  • Example: <processor type="Sitecore.Analytics.Pipelines.StartAnalytics.Init, Sitecore.Analytics" />
  • Method called: void Process(PipelineArgs)

  • Description: The processor type and method are specified
  • Example: <processor type="Sitecore.Jobs.JobRunner, Sitecore.Kernel" method="SetPriority" />
  • Method called: void SetPriority(PipelineArgs)

The second approach can be useful when you would like to use the same class more than once in a pipeline (or across pipelines), with different methods, allowing you to group functionality together or share common methods within the class.

Creating a Custom Pipeline

Creating custom pipelines is an essential part of integrating an external system with Sitecore.


When creating a custom pipeline a custom PipelineArgs class is not required. The standard PipelineArgs class can be used.

However, a custom PipelineArgs class makes it easier to pass objects between processors and to provide output to the process that called the pipeline. At runtime the PipelineArgs object acts as the pipeline’s context.

In order to create a custom PipelineArgs class you must inherit from Sitecore.Pipeline.PipelineArgs.

public class MyPipelineArgs : Sitecore.Pipelines.PipelineArgs
    public string Val1 { get; set; }
    public string Val2 { get; set; }

Objects used with PipelineArgs objects must be serializable

Defining a Pipeline

A pipeline itself is nothing more than a block of XML in the configuration > Sitecore > pipelines section of Web.config or a Sitecore patch file.

The following is an example of a custom pipeline definition.

  <processor type="Testing.SetVal1, Testing" />
  <processor type="Testing.SetVal2, Testing" />

Processors are executed in the order they are defined in the configuration.

Invoking a Pipeline

The following is an example of calling a pipeline.

var args = new Testing.MyPipelineArgs();
Sitecore.Pipelines.CorePipeline.Run("myPipeline", args);

Set values from the Sitecore context and from other static objects on the PipelineArgs object. Pipelines run in a different context than the process (the request) that invokes the pipeline. Explicitly set any values you need on the PipelineArgs before running a pipeline.

Pipelines run synchronously on the current thread, so be aware that a call to run a pipeline will block the thread until the pipeline has finished executing or is aborted.