I’ve talked previously about the benefit of using Sitecore Rocks to speed up your day-to-day development when building Sitecore projects in , My Top 5 Features of Sitecore Rocks That Could Save You Hours Of Work
Another cool benefit of Sitecore Rocks is the ability to connect to remote servers running Sitecore, using the Sitecore Rocks, hard rock web service. I worked at a recent company who felt uncomfortable leaving a service open that someone could potentially brute force a way in.
Instead, I needed a way to manually install/un-install the Sitecore rocks server on remote. In today’s tutorial, I’m going to cover how you can manually install the Sitecore rocks service on a server.
I’ll assume that you have Sitecore Rocks installed and a working Sitecore instance. I wanted to build all the Sitecore Rocks files I needed into a fresh directory, rather than cherry pick files out of my webroot.
To get the files needed, create a new Folder anywhere on your PC and called it ‘Temp’ or something similar:
In here, create two folders ‘bin’ and ‘Sitecore’:
Now in Visual Studio create a new dummy Sitecore rocks connection:
For the connection, point the Host to your existing sample site (don’t worry nothing will be installed on the site), add your Sitecore username and password and set the location to the temp folder created in Step 1.
If you click ‘Ok’, you should see an error, complaining the service doesn’t exist. You should then see the ‘Update Server Components’ dialog with a number of Sitecore Rocks assemblies, click the ‘Update All’ option. Visual Studio should complain that the service doesn’t exist.
If you look back in our temp folder you should now see all of the files we need to install on the remote server. In the bin folder, you should see:
In the Sitecore folder you should see these files in the ‘shell’ -> ‘web service’ folder:
It’s these Sitecore files that make the magic happen. So, you can decide if you want to delete them after you finish, or, a better approach is to lock the Url down by internal IP address. This will mean the dev team can connect but the outside world can’t.
All you need to do now is Zip them up and copy the files onto your remote server. In case you haven’t guessed, the files live in the Sitecore webroot for your website. You will need to add these files for every website you want to connect remotely too.
How To Connect Sitecore Rocks Remotely
After the files are installed on the remote server, connecting Sitecore rocks remotely is very simple. All you need to do is create a new Sitecore Rocks connection and in the ‘Host Name’ instead of adding a local instance, use your websites external Url. You also need to leave the ‘Location’ field blank.
When you hit ‘OK’ now, Sitecore rocks should connect remotely. When I’ve done the first connection, I’ve sometimes seen an error message, but, in the connections manager, the Sites connected.
In today’s guide, I’ve covered the basics of getting Sitecore rocks to work remotely. If you want to do the same, then all you need to do is get a copy of the Sitecore rocks files and copy them directly on the server.