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Friday saw the release of Version 5 of Team Development for Sitecore (TDS), if you haven't used TDS it allows you to pull Sitecore items into your Visual Studio solution. You can can then treat you Sitecore items like code, this gives you all the good stuff like.
  • Source controlled
  • Merging
  • Branching
  • Build server deployment
In this article I will look at the major new features available in v5.

The Test Button

This might seem like an odd one to start with but the Test button found on the build tab will save you a lot of time. When clicked the Test button will run a series of tasks that allow you to quickly diagnose any problems with the current TDS configuration. For example have you entered the correct website URL or have you set the Access Guid.
Any errors that are found are highlighted in the test dialog.
If you are not sure what is wrong you can find more information in the Output View.

Multi-Project Properties - Base Template References

If you were using code generation in TDS prior to version 5 then you had to have all your templates in the same project otherwise the code generator wouldn't be able to correctly create all the fields and inherited templates. With version 5 this has been changed, now you can specify that a TDS project can pull it's template dependencies from another project (think References in a C# project). This will allow you to organise you templates in separate projects based on modules, site, common vs specific.

Multi-Project Properties - Package Bundling

Package Bundling allows you to combine multiple TDS projects into a single Sitecore Update package. Deployments are easier because you only have one update file to install. This is especially useful for solutions which contain TDS projects that target different Sitecore databases e.g. master and core, before each product would have to be deployed separately, but now they can be combined.


Validators are a lifesaver for anyone working within large teams. Within a large team it can be difficult to ensure that the deployment settings for an item have been configured correctly or that items haven't been added to the wrong location. Using Validators you can get the build process to do these checks for you and either show a warning or fail the entire build, stopping someone overwriting the home node accidently. You can also build your own validators make it very customisable, checkout my blog post on how to do this. That concludes my first blog post on the new features of V5, in Part 2 we will look at the Project Wizard, Global Config File and Sitecore Rocks Integration. For those who can't wait you can see these features in Sitecore Virtual User Group video: