TDS Post-Deploy PowerShell Step

I’ve recently been spending some time to upgrade our solution as well as perform some tweaks, optimizations and clean up on our deployment process. Even though I am the creator of UniCorn, I’ve almost exclusively been using Team Development for Sitecore in all the projects which I have worked on 🐘

The release of TDS 5.5 allowed developers to add their own custom deploy steps. Previously these might have been conducted manually (urgh!) or we had deployment steps added to our process in Octopus Deploy to conduct these. The post deploy steps however are better since they can be developer controlled and added to source control. Win!

The Hedgehog Team has been asking for the community to share their post deploy scripts. You can find a number of scripts here. There are some great scripts there, similar to what we currently have. But the way that script are added and managed in the TDS projects was a bit annoying to me…

So it got me thinking about that great quote by J.R.R. Tolkien:

One Script to rule them all, One Script to find them,
One Script to bring them all and using SPE bind them

One Script To Rule Them All

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Applying Rendering and Sublayout Settings from Experience Editor

One Sitecore Best Practices is on rendering and sublayouts is to make use of all the setting that are available to make Content Author lives more friendly, namely:

  • Setting a thumbnail which is displayed when they select a component to add
  • Restrict the datasource location to allow better grouping of content types and direct authors towards where datasources should be created to help keep everything organised
  • Associate a template with the component so the correct datasource type is created
  • Setting Compatible Renderings to allow authors to easily switch between renderings without causing errors
  • Make use of Experience Editor/WebEdit Buttons to add custom funtionality

Did Vasiliy do a Friday Best Practice on this yet?

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Sitecore 8.2: Managing Datasource components and Workflow from the Experience Editor

The launch of Sitecore 8.2 just a few days ago brought with it a a huuuuuge list of updates and enhancements. One of those great new features is an update in the Experience Editor to make the life your content editors much simpler and better to managing the content through workflow.

Component based design/architecture seems to have gained a lot more traction again in recent times especially with the Habitat project. But Sitecore itself has fully support component based design since version 6.4 (at least) with the numerous enhancements that were made to the Page Editor in that release to add better support for Datasources. In order to fully utilize all the analytics and personalisation features, you have to use datasources, you’ll be fighting the framework if you don’t.

Due to its page-based nature, the Page Editor/Experience Editor has also had problems giving appropriate information to the editors when dealing with heavily data-sourced pages and content items that may be used on several pages.

This leads to numerous problems:

  • You don’t know where a datasource is used. Making a change on a component in one page may affect several other pages when the datasource is shared or used on multiple pages.
  • You can’t be sure that a page will not be broken after publishing. When you workflow content, you don’t know what state a page is in as a whole. Although the page item itself is in the Approved/Final state of workflow, the associated content used on that page may not be. Therefore publishing a page even with the “publish related item” option would still not publish those non-final datasources.

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