Guy MacArthur Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Umbraco

Umbraco 7.2 - Property editor data storage limitation… resolved

Guy MacArthur Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Umbraco

The Umbraco CMS is an extensible platform, and many developers like to roll their own custom backoffice extensions from time to time.  Some of them are so handy and impressive they become a product in their own right and are released to the public, some free and some paid.

One of my favourites is Archetype. I think it epitomises great collaboration, goals and effort to bring something so versatile and capable to an already amazing product like the Umbraco CMS.  

Archetype is a property editor that encapsulates other property editor fields into one widget or block or thingamabob.  For example you can create repeating field sets to represent a person’s profile, complete with a first and last name, date of birth, image etc … all contained nicely in a single field.

Archetype example


It’s pretty nifty, and a bold undertaking, but there was always one standout issue that threw up a big roadblock to this type of endeavor… the dreaded storage limitation issue**.

It’s been around for ages, and it’s spelled doom for a number of my own attempts at custom property editor glory.  To break it down for you, a property editor in Umbraco stores the submitted data into a table column in the database with a 2500 character limitation.  And although 2500 characters might seem like a lot, it’s really not because many property editors store their data with XML or HTML or JSON organising the data.  So, you don’t end up with much wiggle room.

Well, the great news is, one of the unspoken dream updates being released with Umbraco CMS version 7.2 is removing that character limitation.

It’s going from this...


To this...


Why this is this important?  With this major restriction out of the way, we’re about to see a flood of new, cutting edge, never able to be released before extensions and products for Umbraco, by both the community and the core team.  

These are exciting times, and with such an active and talented community, the most amazing things are about to happen.  

Bring on 2015, it’s going to be awesome.

** details logged in Umbraco’s issue tracker:


I just realised I was a bit too vague, even misleading, about the data being stored.  It's not the actual data submitted to a field by editing a page node, or media node, I'm referring to, rather, the data about the property editor / datatype as its configured in the developer section.  Apologies for any confusion.