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Features to Improve Sitecore Development: TDS Classic Strikes Back

April 25, 2017 | Sean Holmesby and Jacqueline Baxter

Each and every feature in TDS Classic is aimed at helping developers. Whether the feature is out front or running quietly in the background the goal is always the same: make the development experience better.   

Code Generation Cache Freshness 

  • TDS Classic keeps the item ID's as text files in <TDS Project>\obj\T4RenderCache. Inside the text file TDS Classic keeps the Revision ID, which is changed after every Item change in Sitecore. When TDS Classic notices a difference in the Revision ID for a certain item, it triggers code generation for it once again. This speeds up the code generation process by essentially using the cache for unchanged items.
  • You can, of course, completely bypass the cache by running the 'Re-Generate Code for all items' command on the project's right-click context menu.

TDS Classic Code Generation Cache Freshness

Item Parsing runs in the Background Thread

  • When a project configuration changes, items will be re-parsed on a background thread to improve performance. Parsing a large number of items won't interrupt the other processes of TDS Classic like, for example, the TDS Classic project UI rendering, or TDS Classic project load.

Special Characters in Names

  • TDS gives the ability to use so called "special characters" in the names of the Sitecore items, and likewise provides better support for special characters in Sitecore item names with warnings when the user tries to import an item that may not work with the Sitecore update packager. There's also a validator for these special characters.

Loop Detection

  • When Items are Deployed - TDS Classic returns an error when, for example, the third item inherits a property from the second, which inherits from the first, which inherits from the third. This prevents TDS Classic from being caught in an infinite loop.

Clean Build Folders

  • TDS cleans its build output files and folders when a new build is triggered, including removing all file replacements.This is done by checking the Built_Files.txt file. All files referenced here will be removed from the bin output folder. 

Icon Paths

  • TDS keeps the item's icons in <TDS Project>\obj\IconCache so they are shown in Visual Studio as they are shown in Sitecore. This saves time by not having to access the connected Sitecore server itself to display the icons.

For more lesser known features of TDS Classic, check out the first in our series, and if you're looking for more tips, tricks and less-known ways to get the most out of TDS Classic, visit the blog or follow us on Twitter.  

TDS Classic development

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