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Sitecore Rocks Connections

This blog post provides information about connecting to instances of the Sitecore ASP.NET CMS using the Sitecore Rocks extension for Microsoft Visual Studio.  For more information about Sitecore Rocks, see my blog post Introducing Sitecore Rocks.

When you install Sitecore Rocks, choose to integrate with the appropriate installation(s) of Visual Studio 2010:

Screen capture of Sitecore Rocks installer

After installing Sitecore Rocks, in Visual Studio, click the Sitecore menu, and then click New Connection. Note the additional options on the Sitecore menu. The fields used by a connection are self-explanatory.

Connections are not part of Visual Studio projects or solutions. You can use the same connection when working with multiple projects, and you can use multiple connections when working with a single project. I'm not sure if the latter has any implications, such as copying items between solutions. Update: for information about linking a Sitecore Rocks connection to a Visual Studio project, see my blog post Attach a Sitecore Rocks Connection to a Visual Studio Project.

To explore connections, click the Sitecore menu, and then click Sitecore Explorer. In Solution Explorer, double-click an item to access the item editor.

To create a connection to a Sitecore instance using Sitecore Rocks:

  • In Visual Studio, click the Sitecore menu, and then click New Connection.
  • Leave Connections blank, and enter a name, the host name and the admin password.
  • Select the Hard Rock Web Service.
  • For Location, select the Website subdirectory within the Sitecore installation directory.
  • Select the option to upgrade server components automatically, and then click Test:

Screen capture of Sitecore rocks connection properties

If Sitecore Rocks indicates that the instance is unresponsive and prompts you whether to update server components, click OK:

Screen capture of Sitecore Rocks no response error

And then click Update:

Screen capture of Sitecore rocks prompting to update server components

If Sitecore Rocks prompts you to select the installation subdirectory, select the Website subdirectory of the Sitecore installation directory:

Screen capture of Sitecore rocks prompting for installation folder

If you receive an error at this point, you may need to run Visual Studio as administrator, or open NTFS permissions on /sitecore/shell/webservice such that the owner of the Visual Studio process can write to that subdirectory.

You may see a status window such as the following:

Screen capture of Sitecore Rocks connecting to a Sitecore instance

After you click Update, you can click Close. If you receive the following HTTP 401 Unauthorized error:

Screen capture of HTTP 401 error from Sitecore Rocks

Run inetmgr, and for the Web site, allow anonymous access to the /sitecore/shell/WebService subdirectory.

To uninstall Sitecore Rocks, in Visual Studio, click the Tools menu, then click Extension Manager; in the dialog that appears, select Sitecore Rocks, click Uninstall and then Restart Visual Studio.

If you receive an error about "Sitecore.Rocks.TemplateWizard" somewhere along the way, see post Sitecore.Rocks.TemplateWizard, Version=0.7.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=c9e2eeb5a3dd9908, processorArchitecture=MSIL on the the sitecorebasics blog.