Connect /Manage data layers /

Manage cross-references in Netlify Connect

This feature is available on Connect Enterprise plans.

Once you create and configure a data layer, you can add cross-references to create links between fields across data sources.

When you request data, Netlify automatically resolves the cross-references so that you can get all of the related information at once and through a single query. This makes for a better developer experience and a faster user experience because you avoid having to do a series of queries, waiting for each one to resolve before making the next, and then manually combining the data yourself.

Cross-references resolve for queries made in the GraphQL sandbox and through the GraphQL API.

Team Owners and Developers can add and update cross-references. Netlify records all activities related to adding, editing, and deleting cross-references in the team audit log.

New to Connect? Set up a data layer first

If you haven’t already created a data layer, navigate to the

page for your team and select Add new data layer. Follow the prompts to configure the data layer and to add data sources, connected sites, and custom webhooks. For more information, refer to our get started with Netlify Connect guide.

# How cross-references work

To understand how cross-references work, consider an example where you use Drupal for your site copy and Contentstack for your product information.

Each DrupalPage represents a page in your site and contains a contentstack_sku field that identifies a product from Contentstack to display on that page. Similarly, each ContentstackProduct represents a product and contains a unique identifier in the sku field.

Without cross-references, you would query for all the DrupalPage entities first and then do a second query using the contentstack_sku field to get the related ContentstackProduct entity for each DrupalPage.

Instead of making a series of queries, you can add a cross-reference to create a link between the contentstack_sku field on DrupalPage and the sku field on ContentstackProduct first.

Then, whenever you query for DrupalPage entities, Netlify resolves the cross-reference and automatically returns the ContentstackProduct entity for the contentstack_sku field on each DrupalPage.

Essentially, the type of contentstack_sku becomes ContentstackProduct, so you can access all of the fields on the product directly in the query for the DrupalPage:

query drupalToContentstack {
    drupalPage(title: { eq: "Store"}) {       
        id
        title
        field_description
        body {
            value
        }
        contentstack_sku {
            refId
            reference {
                id
                title
                price
                image {
                    url
                }
            }
        }
    }
}

# Add a cross-reference

Cross-references are available for select data sources

Support for cross-references is currently available for data layers that use the following data source types: Contentstack, Drupal, and Shopify. Additional support is coming soon.

Connect supports cross-references for string and number field types. You can configure cross-references to one level deep but you can query the resolved links to any depth required.

To add a cross-reference to your data layer:

  1. Navigate to the page for your team in the Netlify UI.
  2. Select the data layer from the Data layers list, and then select Data layer settings.
  3. On the data layer settings page, select Cross-references.
  4. Select Add a cross-reference.
  5. Select a Data source, a Type on that data source, and then a Field on that type.
  6. Next, define the other half of the cross-reference relationship. Select a Data source, a Type on that data source, and then a Field on that type. Then, specify whether this field references a Single entity with a unique identifier, or if there are Multiple entities that share the same identifier.
  7. Select Save.

When you add a cross-reference, Netlify automatically starts a data sync to generate a new data revision that reflects the updated schema.

Existing data revisions represent the schema at a specific point in time and will not include the new cross-reference.

# Edit a cross-reference

To edit a cross-reference on your data layer:

  1. Navigate to the page for your team in the Netlify UI.
  2. Select the data layer from the Data layers list, and then select Data layer settings.
  3. On the data layer settings page, select Cross-references.
  4. Find the cross-reference you want to edit and select .
  5. Update the cross-reference as needed and then select Save.

When you edit a cross-reference, Netlify automatically starts a data sync to generate a new data revision that reflects the updated schema.

Existing data revisions represent the schema at a specific point in time and will not include the updated cross-reference.

# Delete a cross-reference

When you delete a cross-reference, the change applies to new data revisions generated after the update. Existing data revisions represent the schema at a specific point in time and will still include the deleted cross-reference.

Unless you pin the current data revision or update your site to use the GraphQL API for that revision, any queries for cross-referenced data will break once the deletion takes effect. Make sure to update the queries in your site or pin the data revision before deleting the cross-reference.

Because this action cannot be reversed, only Team Owners can delete a cross-reference.

To delete a cross-reference from your data layer:

  1. Navigate to the page for your team in the Netlify UI.
  2. Select the data layer from the Data layers list, and then select Data layer settings.
  3. On the data layer settings page, select Cross-references.
  4. Find the cross-reference you want to delete and select .
  5. Review the confirmation prompt and then select Delete cross-reference.

When you delete a cross-reference, Netlify automatically starts a data sync to generate a new data revision that reflects the updated schema.