DXA 1.7 includes Template Building Blocks that help us publish content in JSON format to the Tridion Broker database. One of these Template Building Blocks is the GenerateSitemap.tbb that publishes all Pages and Structure Groups from your entire website as 1 JSON file. You might think this sounds great – and it really is – one great big file! However, if you have thousands of Pages and hundreds of Structure Groups, you might just be interested to publish the Structure Group info and Index pages in the Navigation JSON file. In this short post I’ll share the code I used to get started.  If this is your first time hacking the DXA Template Building Blocks, you might want to check out my post here on how to get started compiling the DXA TBBs.

The idea here is to create a new TBB, GenerateNavigation tbb, that publishes just the Structure Groups and index pages.

I’ve re-used the entire GenerateSitempa.tbb file and just modified one of the methods.

Here is my new modified method and also the call to it.


public override void Transform(Engine engine, Package package)
    Initialize(engine, package);

    _config = GetNavigationConfiguration(GetComponent());
    SitemapItem sitemap = GenerateStructureGroupNavigation(Publication.RootStructureGroup, true);

    string sitemapJson = JsonSerialize(sitemap);

    package.PushItem(Package.OutputName, package.CreateStringItem(ContentType.Text, sitemapJson));


private SitemapItem GenerateStructureGroupNavigation(StructureGroup structureGroup, bool structureGroupsOnly)
    SitemapItem result = new SitemapItem
        Id = structureGroup.Id,
        Title = GetNavigationTitle(structureGroup),
        Url = System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlDecode(structureGroup.PublishLocationUrl),
        Type = ItemType.StructureGroup.ToString(),
        Visible = IsVisible(structureGroup.Title)

    foreach (RepositoryLocalObject item in structureGroup.GetItems().Where(i => !i.Title.StartsWith("_")).OrderBy(i => i.Title))
        SitemapItem childSitemapItem = null;
        Page page = item as Page;
        if (page != null)
            if (page.FileName == "index")  // Add pages with the name index - APA Custom
                if (!IsPublished(page))

                childSitemapItem = new SitemapItem
                    Id = page.Id,
                    Title = GetNavigationTitle(page),
                    Url = GetUrl(page),
                    Type = ItemType.Page.ToString(),
                    PublishedDate = GetPublishedDate(page, Engine.PublishingContext.TargetType),
                    Visible = IsVisible(page.Title)
            childSitemapItem = GenerateStructureGroupNavigation((StructureGroup)item, true);
        if(childSitemapItem != null)
    return result;

In this article I’ll discuss the process of downloading and compiling the Default DXA TBBs, and then we can add our new TBB to the default DXA project.  You might want to do this so you can add another TBB into the DXA project, or to modify one of the existing ones.  However, the DXA team would like to get your updates as a Pull Request so they can make the existing ones even better.

Modifying the Default DXA TBBs

1. Download the sources (with the correct version selected) from here: https://github.com/sdl/dxa-content-management

2. Open the solution and look at the Properties, then Build Events. There is a post-build event with the following:
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\ILMerge\ILMerge.exe” ^
/out:Sdl.Web.Tridion.Templates.merged.dll ^
/targetplatform:v4 ^
/lib:C:\_references\cm-8.1 ^
Sdl.Web.Tridion.Templates.dll DD4T.ContentModel.Contracts.dll DD4T.ContentModel.dll DD4T.Serialization.dll DD4T.Templates.Base.dll Newtonsoft.Json.dll /log

3. Check if you have ILMerge.exe in the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\ILMerge\ILMerge.exe. If not, then download here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=17630

4. Copy the DLLs from the Tridion/bin/client folder to a folder on your local drive. I prefer to keep the references as part of the project. For example, I use: C:\RC\dxa-tbbs-1.7\dxa-content-management-release-1.7\references

All DLLs are required, even the ECL ones, and they’re all listed on the README here: https://github.com/sdl/dxa-content-management. If you don’t have ECL installed, you’ll need to install it at least on your Dev server to get the DLLs. You can use the Add/Remove Programs and ‘Change’ option to add the feature. Restart required, because the GUI will complain after you install the ECL without a restart.  Also, The DLLs after the path are expected to be found in the /bin/debug folder of the project.

5. Build

Potential errors:
1. Error code 3 – This means Visual Studio cannot find ILMerge.exe
2. Error code 1 – It cannot find the DLLs folder specified in the post-build script

– Use the /log switch in the post-build command to write the output to the ‘Output’ window for easier debugging

Happy hacking!