TDS .Item File Merging

August 12, 2014 | Charlie Turano

One of the benefits of using source control for developing web sites is the ability to use robust branching and merging strategies to manage new features and work streams. TDS allows developers to easily bring their Sitecore templates, layouts, sublayouts, renderings and meta-data into source control. Developers can branch and merge their Sitecore items using their source control system exactly the same way they do their source code. In the past, this has caused some difficulties because the text file merging tools don’t handle the Sitecore item serialization files as well as they could. While it was possible for developers to branch and merge Sitecore .item files, care needed to be taken to make sure the file was merged correctly.

We are introducing a new feature for the next version of TDS to solve this problem. TDS will be including an intuitive .item file merge tool that integrates with your favorite source control system. This new feature will enable you to visualize the differences between your branches so you can quickly and confidently select the correct changes without worrying about breaking the .item file.

As you can see in the screen shot, the new TDS merge tool is being used to merge changes from a branch in a local Git repository. The changes to each branch are clearly shown. Conflicts are highlighted and the developer can easily choose which changes to promote.