Blog

TDS 5.6 Release

November 17, 2016 | Charles Turano

We’re pleased to announce that TDS 5.6 has entered beta testing. As always, our goal with this update was to improve developer productivity and many of the new features are based on feedback from the successful TDS 5.5 release.

New Features

Project Item Report

Create a report/document of all items in the TDS project. This report has item specific output based on the location and/or item type.

  • Templates: Base templates, inheritance, icons and fields in standard values for templates, workflow, template and field validators
  • Sublayouts/Renderings: Compatible renderings, thumbnails, placeholders in the rendering, file paths.
  • Placeholder Settings: Renderings for a placeholder.

The 5.6 release will ship with two report formats, Markdown and XML. More formats may be added based on requests from the community.

The Markdown report is compatible with the Visual Studio 2015 markdown editor add-in. Other markdown processors may not render the report as well as this one, since extensions to the Markdown format are not standardized.

The XML report is a custom XML format. A sample XSL Transform is supplied with the generated report to allow the report to render as HTML in a browser. This transform can be customized based on the customer’s needs.

The report is created during the build and there is a report property page for configuring the report:

TDS Project Item Report

This property page allows you to enable the report for the specified configuration, set the report name, format and choose additional fields for the report.

Quick Push

When working in a large team, it is sometimes necessary for a team member to push the latest items to their local Sitecore instance. TDS now has the ability to perform a “Quick Push” of items to Sitecore. The user right clicks on an item and that item and all items below it are pushed to the current instance of Sitecore. Items are pushed in the order they are found in the tree. No dependencies will be evaluated to determine the correct order. If dependencies are important, the “Deploy” function should be used. No code or items outside the specified tree are pushed to the server.

TDS Quick Push Items

Pass custom variable to Code Generation

In some cases, project specific information needed to be passed to the Code Generation templates. TDS now allows the developer to create project specific properties in the code generation property screen. These properties will be passed to the T4 template when the code is generated.

TDS Code Generation with custom variable

In addition to the developer defined properties, TDS will pass the path to the TDS project file and the target project file to the T4 template.

The following changes have been made to the model passed to the T4 template:

TDS T4 template changes to model

These changes should allow much greater developer flexibility in their code generation templates.

Prevent deployment of incorrect Assemblies

Sitecore is changing the way the core assemblies are versioned in future deployments. This will introduce more complexity for developers managing and upgrading Sitecore projects. If a developer accidentally deploys an incorrect version of an assembly to Sitecore, it may be very difficult to track down the issue. When the TDS Assembly Version Check feature is enabled, TDS will check the version of every assembly before deploying to Sitecore. If the assembly version is different than the assembly in the Sitecore instance, the build will fail before deploying any files.

This feature is enabled in the “Environment Validation” property page:

TDS prevent deployment of incorrect assemblies

This property page allows you to enable Assembly Version Check and to specify any assemblies to exclude from the version check. These assemblies would typically be any strong named and/or versioned assemblies you are building or including as part of your project.

Bug Fixes

Improve project file parsing

In some cases, TDS didn’t parse project file conditions and imports as well as expected when generating update packages. This has been resolved.

Auto-Sync is disabled when attached to a Sitecore instance

TDS Auto-Sync works by periodically querying the Sitecore history table for changes. This can get in the way of developers when they are debugging Sitecore pipelines. Auto-Sync is not disabled when the debugger is attached to a process.