Developing Page/Component Template Designs through Visual Studio

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As you all know working with Tridion can sometimes be time consuming when it comes to creating page templates, component templates etc.

Is there a way possibly using WebDav to develop Tridion Page and Component Template Designs that are edited through Visual Studio, version controlled through SVN and then automatically updated back in to Tridion i.e. Dreamweaver TBB, Razor Template TBB, XSLT TBB?

Ibrar Hussain

Posted 2013-02-20T12:04:22.830

Reputation: 1 458

1Hi Ibrar, if one of the answers below helped fix your issue, could you consider accepting it? (click the check mark next to that answer) – Bart Koopman – 2013-03-04T12:05:42.500

Hi Bart, you're answer did give some good insight into my question. However I'm trying to adopt a way of opening a visual studio project having the razor views loaded as part of the project. Following on from this, I'd also look to version control each item. – Ibrar Hussain – 2013-03-15T22:45:42.300

Answers

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Templates are like most (content) items exposed through WebDAV. For Compound Templates (aka. Modular Templates), this means the XML source of the template is exposed in WebDAV with their own specific extension.

Page Templates will have .tptcmp and Component Templates .tctcmp for example. You can very easily store these outside of Tridion as they are basically text files. However the WebDAV URLs used in them need to be available on the system where you import or create them, if trying to do so via WebDAV.

I myself find it most of the time easier to create and maintain Page and Component Templates through the Template Builder than trying to see them as XML or text files and use an external editor for them. Personally if I needed to safeguard them or copy them across from one environment to another, I would just use Content Porter. But you can do the same via WebDAV.

When talking about editing Template Building Blocks, specifically the Dreamweaver design TBBs (exposed as .dwt) then these can be edited by any WebDAV capable editor. As the name refers to the original idea was that these templates should be edited with Adobe Dreamweaver, but you can just as well use any other WebDAV capable editor. I'm unsure if Visual Studio supports WebDAV directly, but when you map a drive to the WebDAV location, you can use that no problem.

The nice thing about Adobe Dreamweaver is that is stores a local copy of the WebDAV file and has a way of automatically syncing your local copy changes back to the WebDAv server (SDL Tridion in this case). So you could use the local copy to check it in an SVN and use Dreamweaver to sync. Else you have to manually sync them from your SVN to Tridion using any WebDAV client.

Bart Koopman

Posted 2013-02-20T12:04:22.830

Reputation: 29 724

Thanks for your answer Bart but my question was unclear - I was actually referring to the Template Designs not Compound Templates. – Ibrar Hussain – 2013-02-20T13:45:44.453

Appended my answer, if you want to store them separately in SVN, you will have to manually upload the changes from the SVN to the CMS, but that is something you can easily do with WebDAV again. – Bart Koopman – 2013-02-21T13:11:51.477

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As Bart says the Template Designs are also available via WebDAV, so you could store those in SVN.

Providing you made certain the folder structure in SVN was the same as that in Tridion, you could use a build script on a Continuous Integration server to push the files into Tridion.

This would be a good way to deploy changes between environments, and would make it much easier to manage releases of template code.

In the development environment you'd probably want to edit the files in place, so you could quickly test changes in Template Builder. Again, as Bart says any WebDAV capable editor would help with this, or just install Rob Stevenson-Leggett's syntax highlighting extension so you get the benefit of syntax highlighting (and even being able to use the tab key!) directly from Tridion.

Dave Houlker

Posted 2013-02-20T12:04:22.830

Reputation: 1 164