Top Must Have Tools for Your #Sitecore Development Environment

There are so many tools I have used over the years in my Sitecore projects. I wanted to come up with a list of the ones I use the most. I will be using the list as a reference as well when I start a new project each time and hope that others can find it useful. I kept the descriptions short, but if you click on the links I provided you can find more information on what each tool does. So here they are in no particular order.

  1. SIM Installer (Sitecore Instance Manager)

    The SIM installer is great for installing/uninstalling different versions of Sitecore sites. It also does many other things that you help you maintain and update your Sitecore instances. I would not install an instance of Sitecore without using it.

    You can download it here.

  2. Sitecore Developer Toolbox

    You ever wonder what happened to the XPath Builder? Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to get to the admin tools from the content editor? The Sitecore Developer Toolbox brings all the major developer tools together. Time is money and having these shortcuts at the ready will save you lots of time.

    You can find it in the Sitecore market place here.

    For more information about it check out this link.

  3. Google Chrome Extension

    This Chrome extension is fantastic for getting to the Sitecore admin pages much faster from the Chrome browser.

    You can find the tools here.

  4. Sitecore Rocks

    Sitecore Rocks works integrates with Visual Studio to give you an all in one interface to Sitecore. With Sitecore rocks you have a Sitecore explorer window that you can use to view your Sitecore sites. You can do just about all the same functionality with Sitecore Rocks that you can do in Sitecore without leaving Visual Studio. Some of the functionality like creating/updating templates, creating/updated renderings and retrieving data using a query analyzer. One of my favorite features of Sitecore Rocks is the multiple select and delete.

    You can find it here.

  5. Luke

    Luke is the perfect tool for troubleshooting query and data issues with Lucene. I have used the tool many times when I find data abnormalities.

    You can download it here.

  6. Helix Generator

    Since Helix has started becoming a standard with new Sitecore projects having a way to have a Helix skeleton to get you started is nice to have. You can find many Helix generators out there. Here is the one that I usually use. The thing I like I bought it is you can choose what you want installed.

    You can find it here.

  7. DotPeek or Reflector

    These are great utilities for opening code from any DLL need to understand the code better. Whenever I have a task that a pipeline needs to be overridden or I need to understand why something is being set I use one of these utilities.

    DotPeek can be downloaded from here.

    Reflector can be downloaded from here.

  8. TDS or Unicorn

    TDS and Unicorn are critical in a development environment if you want to keep your Sitecore database in sync with your team. Both work well with source control so you can keep your Sitecore changes safe.

    You can find TDS here.

    You can find Unicorn here.

  9. Data Exchange Framework

    For importing and exporting data, updating xDB and anything else you can think of ways of manipulating Sitecore data the DEF is Sitecore’s best tool to do so.

    You can find it here.

  10. Sitecore Slack Chat and Sitecore Stack Exchange

    Stuck on something? More than likely someone else has been stuck on the same issue. Nothing wrong with reaching out for help. Some of the nicest Sitecore developers can be found on Slack and Stack Exchange.

    You can find the Slack group here.

    The Sitecore Stack Exchange can be found here.

  11. Debug Attach Manager

    I have found this the easiest way to attach to a process and debug. It remembers the process you last attached to so you can easily attach to it again.

    You can find it here.

  12. ZeroDeploy by Hedgehog Software.

    No developer likes to wait to debug their website. Sometimes you forget what you changed while testing if the site takes too long to reload. With ZeroDeploy it makes the wait time 99% faster.

    You can find it here.

  13. Razl by Hedgehog Software

    With this tool you can compare and merge your Sitecore databases. This tool is great for troubleshooting missing data, getting production data into development for testing, resetting production from a backup etc.…

    You can find it here.

  14.  Astrogrep

    This is a tool I use almost daily. It searches file names and text within files. I have found this useful for troubleshooting errors and/or finding a setting.

  You can find it here.

So those are my favorite tools to use in my Sitecore development environment. Is there some more that I should be using? Let me know.