In today’s post, I’ll be talking about Team Development for Sitecore (TDS). TDS is a Visual Studio plug-in that dramatically improves your deployment experience, websites code quality, and team collaboration.
Whats Is Team Development For Sitecore?
TDS is a Visual Studio plug-in that improves your continuous integration process with several features Sitecore doesn’t provide ‘out-of-the-box’. The more streamlined and automated you can strengthen your deployment process the more stable and reliable your releases will be. A stable and reliable process means the development team can work using a continuous delivery release cycle and developers can concentrate on code rather than repeatedly waste time on process and. improving developer productivity. TDS achieves this by providing several useful features:
- Serialize Sitecore items so they can be stored in source control
- Deploy your templates and Sitecore items via your deployment process, rather than manually having to create packages and install them on each environment
- Package your work, including Sitecore items to be installed on other environments
- Enabled Config Transforms
TDS does come with a price tag that will put off some companies, at $750 per developer some might not consider it as cheap. On smaller projects, the budget might not stretch this far but in the grand scheme of the project, the saving per developer time will provide a greater ROI than trying to do something custom in-house. If you are unsure about TDS you can always download a 30 day evaluation copy for free from here.
How To Install TDS
Let’s say that you’ve got the demo, or you’ve paid for it. You should receive a zip file in your email with the installation files, unzip the file on your computer:
Run the installer for your version of visual studio
Agree To The T&C’s
Add in your license information if you have it (otherwise leave blank)
Add in the installation location
Hit ‘Next’. job Done
Getting TDS Installed On Your Project
After TDS has been installed, it’s time to implement it on a Sitecore website. On most projects, you will want to create 2-3 TDS projects depending on how you structure your project. Each project mirrors a Sitecore database, so you have one for ‘Master’ and another one for ‘Core’. To create a TDS project is very similar to creating a normal class library etc.. in Visual Studio, with your website loaded, in solution explorer right click on your solution to get the context menu up and select, ‘Add’ -> ‘New Project’
In the ‘Installed’ section on the left, you should see an entry called ‘TDS Project’, select that and choose ‘TDS Project’. Call it ‘Project.Namespace.Master’ and click ‘OK’.
In your solution, you should now see your TDS project. It’s time to configure it. Right-click on the project to open the context menu up and select ‘Properties;
In the ‘General’ tab, you need to do several things.
- Select your webroot in the ‘Source Web Project’
- In Sitecore Database select Master, or, Core
In the ‘Build’ tab, you need to do several things.
- Add your local dev website Url in ‘Sitecore Web Url
- Select your websites dev publish folder in ‘Sitecore Deploy Folder’
- Enable the ‘Install Sitecore Connector’ checkbox
- Click the ‘Test’ button to make sure you haven’t messed anything up
TDS can do a lot and I’ll cover some of those features in the future. To get up and running quickly with TDS, right click on your TDS project to open the context menu.
Select ‘Get Sitecore Items’
A dialog should now load with your Sitecore tree displayed. Next to each item you can add a tick in the corresponding checkbox, select your custom items as you see fit and each selected item will be serialized to disk within your TDS project.