The ReferenceBundle is tasked with tracking references among entities within the application. It enables developers and maintainers to quickly determine the relationships between entities and understand the manner and location in which an entity is utilized. Presently, the ReferenceBundle is capable of monitoring the usage of Snippets and Media within PHPCR entities such as pages and snippets. These references are managed distinctly for the draft state within the admin context and the live state within the website context.

The main reason we need this bundle is that, unlike traditional database references, our content management system operates on an unstructured data model. Therefore, we cannot rely solely on database references, which are usually preferred. It is essential to note that the ReferenceBundle should only be used for unstructured data, where database relations are not feasible.

Content maintainers are able to see the references to a specific entity in the Insights tab of an entity like Snippet.

Snippet References

Snippet References

Refresh references

The references are automatically updated upon saving an entity. You also have the option to manually update the references by executing the bin/console sulu:references:refresh command. This command optionally accepts the <resource-key> argument. When this argument is provided, only the references for the specified resource key will be refreshed.

bin/console sulu:references:refresh <resource-key>


Please note that references are only refreshed for the current context. To refresh the references for both the admin and website contexts, you will need to execute the command twice via the bin/adminconsole and the bin/websiteconsole.

Integrating references for custom content-types

To integrate the ReferenceBundle for custom content-types, you need to implement the ReferenceContentTypeInterface in your content-type class. The interface requires you to implement the getReferences method. The method already receives the ReferenceCollector which you can use to add references to the collector.

Example implementation for a custom content-type:

    public function getReferences(PropertyInterface $property, ReferenceCollectorInterface $referenceCollector, string $propertyPrefix = ''): void
        $data = $property->getValue();
        if (!\is_array($data) || !isset($data['id'])) {

            (string) $data['id'],
            $propertyPrefix . $property->getName()