Home » Customization » Kick-start Glass.Sitecore.Mapper in a Sitecore Initialize Pipeline

Kick-start Glass.Sitecore.Mapper in a Sitecore Initialize Pipeline

Sitecore Technology MVP 2016
Sitecore MVP 2015
Sitecore MVP 2014

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In my previous post, I used Glass.Sitecore.Mapper to grab content out of Sitecore for use in expanding tokens set in Standard Values fields.

While writing the code for that article, I recalled Alex Shyba asking whether it were possible to move Glass initialization code out of the Global.asax and into an initialize pipeline — Mike Edwards, the developer of Glass, illustrates how one initializes Glass in the Global.asax on github.

I do remember Mike saying it were possible, although I am uncertain whether anyone has done this.

As a follow up to Alex’s tweet, I’ve decided to do just that — create an initialize pipeline that will load up Glass models. I’ve also moved the model namespaces and assembly definitions into a patch config file along with defining the initialize pipeline.

Here is the pipeline I’ve written to do this:

using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;

using Sitecore.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Pipelines;

using Glass.Sitecore.Mapper.Configuration.Attributes;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.Loader
    public class InitializeGlassMapper
        public void Process(PipelineArgs args)

        private static void CreateContextIfApplicable(IEnumerable<string> modelTypes)
            if (CanCreateContext(modelTypes))

        private static bool CanCreateContext(IEnumerable<string> modelTypes)
            return modelTypes != null && modelTypes.Count() > 0;

        private static AttributeConfigurationLoader CreateNewAttributeConfigurationLoader(IEnumerable<string> modelTypes)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(modelTypes, "modelTypes");
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(modelTypes.Count() > 0, "modelTypes", "modelTypes collection must contain at least one string!");
            return new AttributeConfigurationLoader(modelTypes.ToArray());

        private static void CreateContext(AttributeConfigurationLoader loader)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(loader, "loader");
            Glass.Sitecore.Mapper.Context context = new Glass.Sitecore.Mapper.Context(loader);

        private static IEnumerable<string> GetModelTypes()
            return Factory.GetStringSet("glassMapperModels/type");

I’ve defined my new initialize pipeline in a patch config, coupled with Glass model namespace/assembly pairs:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
        <processor type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.Loader.InitializeGlassMapper, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
      <type>Sitecore.Sandbox.Model, Sitecore.Sandbox</type>

On the testing front, I validated what I developed for my previous post still works — it still works like a charm! 🙂


  1. Mike, do you know which Sitecore code runs the initialize pipeline? Does it run on every page request or only once per application start? I was digging in the Sitecore Kernel yesterday and couldn’t find the pipeline run call that runs this pipeline.


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