February 04, 2016 | Charles Turano
The Sync using History feature was introduced in TDS 5.1 as an alternative to the Sync with Sitecore feature. The idea behind Sync using History was to improve developer productivity.
When working on a new feature in a Sitecore implementation, I typically add or update 30-50 items in the Master database. These would be various folders, templates, layouts and a few content items. Instead of using the Sync with Sitecore window to search for these items, Sync using History looks at precisely what you just did and allows you to include it in you project.
Other than speed, Sync using History has another big advantage over Sync with Sitecore. When refactoring the Sitecore content tree, typically, many items are moved and/or renamed. In many cases, a set of steps to get from the original content tree to the final content tree cannot be easily determined. This can make it very difficult to bring these changes into TDS.
The Sync using History feature has been designed to dramatically improve this situation. It will review the history table in Sitecore and determine what changes it can make to the project and only show those changes. After applying the changes to the TDS project, the developer does another Sync using History operation and finds additional changes. This is done until the TDS project matches the refactored content tree. Even though this is a multi-step process, it is much better than finding out that you have to determine the set of steps to bring your refactored content tree into your TDS project.
We are planning some big new features around Sync using History in the next version of TDS. More information is available in Chapter 4 of the TDS Manual.