July 16, 2018 | Andrew Karaptis
Without Feydra, it is tricky for a front-end developer to work on a Sitecore project. The main roadblock is this - each developer, ideally, wants to install and run a copy of the project so they can integrate and test their work. Under ordinary circumstances, a few factors make this difficult:
1. Some front-end developers have no experience with Sitecore. Sitecore takes the path of heavy install and heavy configuration in return for delivering a robust feature set. This makes its installation and maintenance a process that requires specialized dev knowledge and experience.
2. Sitecore runs on a Microsoft tech stack including .Net framework, IIS and MSSQL. Most front-end developers don’t run these prerequisites on their local development computers, which are sometimes Linux or OSX machines.
3. Many Sitecore projects manage their vital item configuration through separate tools like TDS Classic (Team Development for Sitecore), which adds an extra prerequisite and chunk of workflow knowledge just to keep the project synced with the latest server-side development progress.
The main benefit of using Feydra is that the front-end developer no longer has to install or run the Sitecore project locally. Instead the front-end developer can write their front-end code on their own computer; Feydra allows them to upload it continuously to an integration server (set up by the Sitecore developers) where they can see their changes in action. This allows front-end development to spin up quickly and with much lighter overhead on Sitecore projects. The workflow is as follows:
1. Sitecore developers set up a Feydra integration server and create Feydra accounts on it for each front-end dev.
2. Front-end developers view and test work right on that integration website, so they never have to run the entire project themselves.
3. Front-end developers pull code from the main source control repo, make changes in front-end assets there, upload those assets to a special Feydra override folder on the integration server, and can see their work in action.
4. Front-end developers commit their completed code with confidence that it’s been fully tested in a real Sitecore instance alongside the latest dynamic content, configuration, and server-side development progress.
There are a few other ways to handle this same problem, such as downloading static copies of staging or production Sitecore HTML, working on it locally, hoping you’re still working on the latest relevant HTML output, and pushing those code changes to a source control repo without ever having tested them inside a live working Sitecore site with real dynamic content. This technique comes with many risky pitfalls and more revision churn in our experience. SXA toolkit for Sitecore comes with its own unique front-end workflow where static assets and HTML are exported/imported back and forth between Sitecore and the front-end developers. This seeks to solve the same problem as Feydra, but in a different way. So Feydra is currently for non-SXA Sitecore projects.
Feydra offers a more efficient modern approach to front-end development workflow for Sitecore. Contact us now for more information about how Feydra can help your front-end team.