tools · utilities

My favourite utilities / tools for Sitecore development

  1. The first one I want to introduce is Sitecore Instance Manager (SIM). It’s very helpful for me to set up fresh Sitecore instances at my local quickly, to edit hosts file easily via Hosts Editor.
    • Github: it’s an open source tool for managing the local park of Sitecore instances. You can install, locate, maintain, reinstall or delete Sitecore products. It has API and plugin engine so you can extend it for any your need.
    • Download Link
    • The official one on Sitecore Marketplace
    • How to use it: take a look at the great post by Akshay Sura – Sitecore MVP
  2. The second one is AstroGrep. It’s very helpful for me to search text inside all the config files in App_Config folder and sub-folders, especially for the case I want to search text which is inside many patching config files
    • Sourceforge: AstroGrep is a Microsoft Windows GUI File Searching (grep) utility. Its features include regular expressions, versatile printing options, stores most recent used paths and has a “context” feature which is very nice for looking at source code
    • Download Link
    • How to use it:
      • download and install it
      • open it
        • enter Search Path, File Types, Search Text
        • check Search Subfolder checkbox
        • click Search button
        • right click on a specific file in search result window to open the context menu then click on Open File / Open Directory if you want to access that file
      • fut_1.png
    • A similar one is Notepad++, take a look at the nice post by Sitecore MVP – Toby Gutierrez
  3. Sitecore Admin tools such as Show Config, Logs, Db Browser, Unlock Admin, etc. Let’s take a look at this great post by Kamruz Jaman – Sitecore MVP
    • How to use Unlock Admin, take a look at this post by Anton Pham – my colleague
  4. Sitecore Extensions: this great toolkit makes my live much easier. Productivity growth guaranteed.
  5. Sitecore XPath Builder: a simple tool for creating and verifying your Sitecore query
  6. Sitecore File Explorer: a simple tool for downloading / uploading files inside Sitecore
  7. For #3, #5, #6 we need a faster way to access them rather than remember the URLs to those tools. Sitecore Developer Toolbox should step in now:
    • The official one on Sitecore Marketplace
    • How to use it:
      • download the Sitecore package
      • install the Sitecore package via the Installation Wizard to your Sitecore instance
      • usage instructions:
        1. Open up the Content Editor
        2. Right-Click on the Contextual Ribbon and click on Developer
        3. A new tab will appear in the Contextual Ribbon named Developer
        4. Click on the Developer tab
        5. Now you have access to additional Development tools that you can get to quickly from the Content Editor
      • fut_4
  8. Become a Sitecore admin without a login: sometimes, I cannot log into Sitecore because someone changed the admin password and did not share the new one with me :D. Let’s take a look at this cool post by Kamsar – Sitecore MVP
    • <%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" %>
      <%@ Import Namespace="Sitecore.Security.Authentication" %>
      <%     AuthenticationManager.Login("sitecore\\admin", false, true);     Response.Redirect("/sitecore/shell"); %>
    • create a ScAdmin.aspx file in the webroot and paste the code above into it
    • open a browser, navigate to http://YOUR_SITE/ScAdmin.aspx
    • you’re in Sitecore now as admin, open User Manager to reset the admin password
    • log out Sitecore then log into it by using admin account successfully
    • either delete ScAdmin.aspx or rename it to ScAdmin.aspx.disabled
  9. ShowConfig on Content Delivery
    • Note: another quick way is to create a MyShowConfig.aspx in the webroot and paste the code below into it
    • <%@ Page Language=”C#” AutoEventWireup=”true” %>
      <%@ Import Namespace=”Sitecore.Configuration” %>
      <%@ Import Namespace=”System” %>
      <%@ Import Namespace=”System.Xml” %><%
      XmlDocument configuration = Factory.GetConfiguration();
      Response.ContentType = “application/xml”;
    • open a browser, navigate to http://YOUR_SITE/MyShowConfig.aspx
    • DO NOT forget to delete MyShowConfig.aspx after done
  10. .NET Decompiler
  11. Saving the best for last – Unicorn a great one by Kamsar (Sitecore MVP): a Sitecore utility designed to simplify deployment of Sitecore items across environments automatically. I love it and can’t live without it :D.

Happy Sitecore Coding!


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