INSIGHT 15th December 2020 5 min read

Sitecore 10 Content Serialisation best practices – Part 2

Sc10 Serialisation

Photo by Danial Igdery on Unsplash

Unicorn was the most popular plugin for content serialization. It was very straightforward and well managed; all the documents were very descriptive and easy to understand. Now we have Sitecore Content Serialization (SCS), I think we must understand what has changed. Are we losing or gaining any functionality? What changes are required to our existing setup? Are there any changes in terminology etc?

This blog has been split into three parts, and this is part two.

Below is the high-level comparison between Unicorn and SCS.

1. SCS has an additional Visual Studio plugin to manage Content.

Visual Studio

VS plugin provides the below options:

1. Option to push and pull changes

2. Differences between disk and database content

3. Option for selected item sync

SCS has Sitecore command line (CLI) Interface and Unicorn has its own page.

Unicorn and SCS

SCS configuration is based on JSON files and Unicorn configuration is based on XML.

Configuration 1

The configuration file naming convention is different. The SCS configuration file names contain modules for identification and Unicorn configuration contains serialization – although this is configurable.

Configuration 2

The initial setup is different. For SCS we have to setup the package and to enable the CLI it’s required to install the packages.

Difference in global/shared configuration

Configuration 3

Difference in feature/module level configuration.


SCS provides more flexibility for rule based configuration, for each feature we can define a rule and each rule has the option to define the path, scope and allowed PushOperations etc.

There are changes in the configuration.

When using Unicorn we used to define the dependencies and extends options.

Config 6

With SCS, we need to handle it while defining the feature itself and any overlap, for example if there is any specific overlap we need to make sure to put the most specific rule first.

Rule of Parent’s path override rule of children’s and dependent path.

Overall, I can see the SCS configuration is much easier and more flexible. However, I’m still looking for an option for pattern-based formats in SCS.

I hope this comparison will provide a basis to understand the difference between Unicorn and SCS.

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