Evaluating BrainJocks SCORE for the Sitecore ASP.NET CMS: What You Need

This blog post, specifically about the skills and tools you should have before you begin your evaluation, is one in a series about my experience with BrainJocks SCORE for the Sitecore ASP.NET web Content Management System (CMS) and Experience Platform (XP). You can think of a SCORE as an accelerator for the implementation of Sitecore solutions. For more information about SCORE, see the first link in the Resources section at the end of this page.

In order to evaluate SCORE, you will need at least the following products and minimal knowledge of their use:

  • Sitecore CMS, including a valid Sitecore license
  • Visual Studio 2012 or greater including NuGet
  • Node.js and lessc: if you plan to use SCORE and SCORE Bootstrap to compile CSS
  • Sitecore PowerShell Tools and Extensions: at least for scaffolding (not in production)
  • SCORE including a valid license, typically from an evaluation package from BrainJocks
  • HedgeHog Development’s Team Development for Sitecore (TDS): optional; required for SCORE demo site

You can get a short-term SCORE evaluation license from BrainJocks. If you acquire SCORE, BrainJocks uses your Sitecore license ID to generate a unique, non-expiring SCORE license. The SCORE license goes in your /App_Data folder, a subdirectory for which there is no file system monitor, so you can restart ASP.NET whenever you want after dropping the file.

In addition to these components, you need to make an investment in learning SCORE. You cannot properly evaluate the product without first reviewing the materials available to support it, and I would advise strongly against attempting to build a production solution in any technology without a documentation review, sufficient training, and/or extensive prototyping.

At the very least, you should watch the first two videos in the SCORE Getting Started series linked in my previous blog post that appears in the Resources section at the end of this page, and browse the SCORE documentation available as part of you’re the evaluation package from BrainJocks. While the number of videos about SCORE available to the public is increasing, for the real SCORE training you need to contact BrainJocks.

Once you have some familiarity with SCORE and before you purchase, I recommend that you try to file a case with BrainJocks to get an idea of the support process, even if you have to ask a “why” question. At the time of this writing, BrainJocks provides an email address for support.

The SCORE evaluation package you can obtain from BrainJocks provides a complete demo site. I had want to focus on Sitecore 8 and will use that build of SCORE when it becomes available (hopefully by April – follow and/or contact @BrainJocks and/or @BrainJocksSCORE on twitter for updates). For now, the demo site depends on some DMS APIs for Sitecore 7.2. For evaluation, this API difference should be relatively insignificant, especially as it is part of the demo site rather than SCORE itself.

Links in the Resources section at the end of this page describe some additional tools that Sitecore developers should consider.