How to use Hot Swapping for datasets

Use aliases to swap datasets with no migrations or code changes

Enterprise Feature

This feature is part of our Advanced Dataset Management offering on the enterprise plan. Contact us if you need this feature and want to discuss our enterprise offerings.

Dataset Hot Swapping allows a codebase to reference a single, named entity, which can then point to different datasets depending on the need of the project.

By utilizing a Dataset Alias in a codebase, the underlying dataset referenced can be swapped without having to copy or migrate data. When preparing a large content change or a new feature, the data can be prepared in a staging or feature dataset and then Hot Swapped behind the "production" Alias with no code or data changes when ready and approved.

Using Dataset Hot Swapping

This enterprise feature is included in the Sanity CLI. By running a series of commands, an alias can be created, linked, unlinked, or deleted.

# List all aliases and datasets
sanity dataset list

# Create a new alias
sanity dataset alias create <new-alias> <dataset-to-alias>

# Change what dataset an alias points to
sanity dataset alias link <alias-to-point> <dataset-to-point-to>

# Unlink an alias
sanity dataset alias unlink <alias-to-unlink>

# Delete an Alias
sanity dataset alias delete <alias-to-delete>

# List all aliases and datasets
sanity dataset list

Creating a new alias

sanity dataset alias create

Before a dataset can be swapped, a new alias must be created and referenced by code. To create a new alias for use as a production alias run the following code:

# Creates a dataset alias and prompts for an alias name
sanity dataset alias create

# Creates an unlinked dataset alias named "production"
sanity dataset alias create production

# Creates a dataset alias named "production" linked to "productionDataset"
sanity dataset alias create production productionDataset

Anywhere the code references the productionDataset it can now be swapped for ~production.

In order to identify incoming alias requests from a client, an alias should be prefixed with the special character ~. In this example, even though the create command was given an alias name of production, when referencing it in requests, the string ~production should be used.


When creating a new alias, the name should not include the ~ character. This special character is only used to reference the alias in your code.

// Example from sanity.js file
// This code creates a connection to the datastore
// and connects to productionDataset through the production alias

import sanityClient from '@sanity/client'

const client = new SanityClient({
  projectId: 'abc123',
  dataset: '~production', 
  useCdn: false,


Dataset aliases are read-only references to the underlying dataset. Write actions will fail when run against an alias.

Hot-swapping the dataset behind an alias

sanity dataset alias link

Once an alias is created, the dataset behind it can be hot-swapped at any time. In this example, the codebase references the ~production alias. When a new release is ready, a dataset of featureDataset can be created via Cloud Clone from the current dataset behind the production alias. Any data changes can be made, then the production Alias can be Hot Swapped to the new featureDataset.

# Hot swap the production Alias to point to the featureDataset
sanity dataset alias link production featureDataset


A single dataset can be linked to multiple aliases. When the dataset in this example is linked to the production alias, it can still be linked to a staging or development alias, as well.

Unlink an alias

sanity dataset alias unlink

When an alias is not currently being used, but should be included in the alias list, it can be unlinked from a dataset.

# Unlinks the development alias.
# The development alias will still appear 
# in the sanity dataset alias link command
sanity dataset alias unlink development

Delete an alias

sanity dataset alias delete

When an alias is no longer needed, it can be deleted from the alias list. The delete command only deletes the alias and not any datasets associated with it.

# Deletes the outdated alias
sanity dataset alias delete outdated

List all aliases and datasets on a project

sanity dataset list

The list command provides a list of all Datasets and aliases associated with the current project and shows the linked dataset for each alias.

# Returns a list of datasets and aliases with their associated datasets
sanity dataset list

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