This is part 2 of the “Must Have Tools for a Sitecore Developer” list and presents some excellent Sitecore focussed development tools to help you in your development journey!
You can find part 1 here.
Let’s get into it:
SCLA is a powerful tool for analysing your Sitecore log files. Sitecore logs a comprehensive set of data and it can be difficult to trawl through manually. On top of this, Sitecore uses multiple files for different logs which is extremely helpful but not the easiest to analyse! The SCLA does away with manual analysis, and you can undertake useful tasks with ease, such as grouping by application, monitor performance counters, and get a visual overview of website uptime and downtime intervals.
Us Sitecore devs love a good icon, and so we should! They help content authors easily identify items of the same type and, if selected well, provide visual context and description to items. Effective use of icons can help identify grouped templates, folder templates, and config items. Sitecore boasts an impressive selection of icons (the best I’ve seen amongst other popular .NET CMSs) but with that comes the pain of finding the right one!
Sitecore icon search is a godsend when it comes to this. Quickly search for what you are looking for, click on the path which automatically copies it to the clipboard, and paste it into the icon field for your item. It also comes as a handy browser extension!
SIM is a great open source tool that lets you easily manage your installed instances of Sitecore. It’s regularly updated and is available for the latest version, Sitecore 10. SIM allows you to execute common tasks quickly and easily, such as installing, locating, and deleting instances. If you are keen to extend the app, then you can use the API or plugin engine to meet your needs too.
This one does what it says on the tin; enabling a fully fledged PowerShell CLI directly in your Sitecore instance, in browser. This allows you to write scripts to automate bulk tasks with ease. The summary on the extension’s documentation page sums it up really well: “Sitecore development accelerator that can drastically increase your productivity and curtail the amount of time it takes to deliver a Sitecore solution”. Be careful though, there are no fail-safes, so the script you write will be executed as is. Make sure you don’t run anything without taking backups first!
Join the community and engage in discussion with other passionate Sitecore devs on the community Slack. The group is packed with friendly and knowledgeable experts, and many Sitecore MVPs. They’re always willing to help, and your knowledge will be valuable too, so hop on and join the chat.
Similar to the Slack community, the Sitecore Stack Exchange is where Sitecore developers go to ask and answer questions. A great resource when you are stuck and have exhausted most diagnostic options and could do with some advice.
If you’ve been a Sitecore developer long enough chances are that you are certified. If not, becoming a Sitecore certified developer should be on your to-do list. It’s beneficial to your development and your organisation and cements yourself as a capable Sitecore dev, and on the way to an expert! Sitecore is massive, and is always growing as more functionality is added and new versions are released. Alongside a partner organisation, you’ll have access to the invaluable Sitecore support and developer portals.
There are some more tools that lots of Sitecore developers prefer, but with this set you will be in great stead to be productive and effective in your work. If you have any ideas for tools that I should add, please leave a comment!
If you’ve got this far then thank you for reading, hopefully you’ve seen something you can add to your Sitecore development arsenal.
Happy Sitecoring! – BM 🙂