Sitecore Experience Commerce: Resolving Site-Catalog Association Lock

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In this article, we look at how to fix the “‘<catalog>’ is already associated to another site.” error message that can occur when attempting to save the catalog association to a site, although no other sites have an association to this catalog at the time.

Note: This solution is only intended for local development and not recommended for production instances.


Over in Sitecore Commerce, the category and sellable item entities contain a ParentCatalogList property that houses the Sitecore ids of the associated catalog entities. For catalog entities however, the ParentCatalogList is being repurposed for the site association Sitecore id and acts as a lock, preventing the catalog from being associated to other sites.

If you happen to have deleted a site that had a existing catalog association, the catalog commerce entity will not be updated to release the lock. Similar scenarios may also be seen if the commerce shared database is restored to an environment that has conflicting sitecore ids with existing sites, as often can be seen during development across teams that do not sync their Sitecore and Commerce data.


Removing the lock can be achieved by executing the following script against the commerce shared database.

Update the database name and catalog friendly id values, in the highlighted lines, as appropriate.

USE SitecoreCommerce9_SharedEnvironments

DECLARE @catalogEntityId VARCHAR(MAX) = 'Habitat_Master';
DECLARE @modifiedEntity VARCHAR(MAX);

SELECT @entity = Entity,
       @uniqueId = Entities.UniqueId
FROM   sitecore_commerce_storage.CatalogEntities AS Entities
       INNER JOIN sitecore_commerce_storage.CatalogEntity AS Entity
               ON Entities.UniqueId = Entity.UniqueId
WHERE  Id = 'Entity-Catalog-' + @catalogEntityId

UPDATE sitecore_commerce_storage.CatalogEntity
SET    Entity = JSON_MODIFY(@entity, '$.ParentCatalogList', '')
WHERE  UniqueId = @uniqueId

Now that we have released the lock, we can associate the catalog to our site, however we may still encounter issues navigating through the catalog structure in the content editor and attempting to publish the site may throw null reference exceptions.

Error message when trying to navigate to category under catalog in the Content Editor.

Site Publish Error Message
Job started: Publish to ‘web’|#Exception: System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. —> System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
at Sitecore.Commerce.Engine.Connect.DataProvider.ReadOnlyCatalogDataProvider.GetChildIDs(ItemDefinition parentItem, CallContext context)

These issues are caused by the catalog’s Template Overrides, which are configured to templates that don’t exist in this Sitecore instance.

Updating the Template Overrides to valid templates for the site will resolve these issues and you should be up and running again.

Installing Sitecore Experience Commerce 9.1 with Default Storefront Tenant and Site

Reading Time: < 1 minuteIn this article, we will look at applying a workaround in order to install the default storefront tenant and site during the Sitecore Commerce 9.1 installation as unfortunately there’s a bug that prevents these from being created during the installation.

Workaround Steps

Note: This has been tested and verified against the On Premise packages.


  1. Following on from the installation guide’s step, 2.2. Download the Sitecore XC release package and prerequisites, navigate and extract the file named xml from Sitecore Commerce Experience Accelerator Storefront\\items\master\sitecore\system\Modules\PowerShell\Script Library\CXA – Internal\Web API\CreateDefaultStorefrontTenantAndSite\{6FEC77C8-00DC-4B7B-9597-82588616A1F2}\en\1.
  2. Open the file and add the following snippet before Function CreateCXATenant.
    #Override Write-Progress to avoid errors which happen because of impossibility to write-progress in non-interactive sessions
    Function Write-Progress {
            [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)]
            [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)]
            [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)]
            [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)]
            [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)]
        process {
            # do nothing
  3. Replace the file in the archive with the updated file.
  4. Continue to follow the installation guide.

When the deployment script run in step 3.2. Run the deployment script, the default tenant and site will now be created.