Outlets allow you to customize the standard UI that is provided by Spartacus by letting you plug custom UI into the standard Spartacus DOM. This is particularly helpful if the UI is not driven by CMS components, or if you wish to change a granular piece in the UI.

Outlets use a string to reference a named outlet. The outlet names are either hard-coded in Spartacus, or driven by content. In the latter case, the outlets are driven by the customer’s CMS setup.

Template-Driven Outlets

The basic syntax for adding UI is based on a TemplateRef that can be added by the ng-template component. The cxOutletRef is used to add a reference to an outlet. The following is an example:

<ng-template cxOutletRef="header">
    Custom UI replacing the header

The cxOutletRef directive is exported from the OutletRefModule. If you wish to use the directive in your application, make sure that you import this module.

By default, the UI provided to the outlet replaces the default UI in Spartacus. By using the cxOutletPos, you can add custom UI before or after the standard UI.

The following is an example where the UI is added before the standard header in Spartacus:

<ng-template cxOutletRef="header" cxOutletPos="before">
    Custom UI added before the UI.

Alternatively, you can use OutletPosition.BEFORE or OutletPosition.AFTER.

Component-Driven Outlets

While the usage of ng-template is convenient, it is limited when no TemplateRef is available. Also, there may be scenarios where you wish to add a component dynamically, outside the UI, using typescript.

Instead of using a template, you can add a component factory to an outlet reference. With this technique, you can dynamically load a component and bring it into the UI. An actual example of this is the AsmLoaderModule, which loads the ASM experience dynamically in the cx-storefront outlet reference, but only when needed.

The following is an example of adding UI dynamically by passing in a component factory:

const factory = this.componentFactoryResolver.resolveComponentFactory(MyComponent);
this.outletService.add('cx-storefront', factory, OutletPosition.BEFORE);

Note: The component-driven outlets feature is introduced with version 1.3 of the Spartacus libraries. If you are using an earlier version, only template content can be added to outlets.

Stacked Outlets

Note: The Stacked Outlets feature is introduced with version 1.4 of the Spartacus libraries.

You can use an outlet reference multiple times. When this happens, the different outlets are stacked. This means that all UI for a given outlet reference is appended to the given outlet reference.

An exception to stacked outlets is when the (default) OutletPosition.REPLACE is used. The outlet is only replaced once.

Outlet Context

Whenever an outlet is created, the given context of the UI is injected into the outlet template. The context can be conveniently used in the template by using the let-[var] syntax. The following is an example:

<ng-template cxOutletRef="header" let-model>
    The context is directly available in the custom UI: 

Note: The context model depends on where outlets are used.

Available Outlet References

There are two categories of outlet references, as follows:

  • Data-driven (that is, CMS-driven) outlet references
  • Software-driven outlet references

CMS Outlet References

Data-driven outlets are provided by the CMS structure. There are three types, as follows:

  • CMS Page layout name: Each page layout is available as an outlet reference.
  • CMS page slot positions: Each slot position is an outlet reference. Since slot positions are not necessarily unique throughout the CMS structure, an outlet template might occur more then once. There is currently no standard technique available to limit the outlet for a specific position or page.
  • CMS Component type: Each component type is available as an outlet. While component type-driven outlets can be used, it is generally considered best practice to leverage Customizing CMS Components for introducing custom component UI.

Software-Driven Outlet References

There are a number of outlet references that are explicitly added to Spartacus. The following are the hard-coded sections:

  • cx-storefront: There is no outlet available for the overall storefront experience, or for adding UI to the header and footer. The cx-storefront can be useful when you wish to introduce additional UI to the storefront, either to replace UI, or to add it before or after.
  • cx-header: The cx-header wraps the <header> to allow for customizations of the header.
  • header: The header wraps all page slots for the header section.
  • navigation: The navigation wraps all page slots for the navigation section.
  • cx-footer: The cx-footer wraps the <footer> to allow for customizations of the footer.
  • footer: The footer wraps all page slots for the footer section.

Note: The cx-storefront, cx-header, and cx-footer outlet references are introduced with version 1.3 of the Spartacus libraries.

Specific Sections on the Product Details Page

There are a number of outlet references that wrap specific sections of the Product Details page, as follows:

  • The PDP.INTRO wraps the introduction of the PDP.
  • The PDP.PRICE wraps the price on the PDP.
  • The PDP.SHARE wraps the share on the PDP.
  • The PDP.SUMMARY wraps the summary on the PDP.

Deferred Loading

Outlets are driven by deferred loading of the Spartacus UI, which is a technique that is used to postpone the initial rendering of CMS components. Any component that is outside the viewport is not rendered in advance. For more information, see Deferred Loading.