Archetypes ReferenceFields


Using ReferenceField to have references to other Archetypes content items in Plone.


Archetypes comes with a kind of field called ReferenceField which is used to store references to other Archetypes objects, or any object providing the IReferenceable interface.

References are maintained in the uid_catalog and reference_catalog catalogs. You can find both at the root of your Plone site. Check them to see their indexes and metadata.

Although you could use the ZCatalog API to manage Archetypes references, these catalogs are rarely used directly. A ReferenceField and its API is used instead.

Example declaration of a ReferenceField inside a schema:

MyCTSchema = atapi.Schema((
        relationship = 'somerelationship',

Check the Fields Reference section in the Archetypes Developer Manual at to learn about the ReferenceField available options.

Archetypes reference fields just store the UID (Universal Object Identifier) of an object providing the IReferenceable interface. Continuing with the example above, you will usually use the regular field API (getters/setters).

Get the UID of a referenceable object:

>>> areferenceableobject_uid = areferenceableobject.UID()

To set a reference, you can use the the setter method with either a list of UIDs or one UID string, or one object or a list of objects (in the case the ReferenceField is multi-valued) to which you want to add a reference to. None and [] are equal.

In this example we set a reference from the myct1 object to the areferenceableobject object:

>>> myct1.setMyReferenceField(areferenceableobject_uid)

To get the object(s) referenced, just use the getter. Note that what you get is the objects themselves, not their “brains”:

.. TODO:: Add a glossary entry for brains.

More info in Varnish section of this manual.

>>> myct1.getMyReferenceField() == areferenceableobject


Code to exercise the IReferenceable API, including relationships and back-references.