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28 Days of Sitecore Rocks: Manage - Part 5

Today we will be wrapping up the Sitecore Rocks Manage tool by discussing the final interface, Validation.  This interface is one of my favorite features in all of Sitecore Rocks.  Part of my role as a Technical Lead is evaluating Sitecore implementations developed both internally and externally.  Over time I've compiled an exhaustive list of items that I check manually when performing an evaluation.  The Validation interface has allowed me to automate a large portion of these items.  Let's get started and see how!

If we don't already have the Manage tool open, right click the Sitecore instance, in this case the Jetstream node, in the Sitecore Explorer and select the "Manage" menu item.

 

Sitecore Rocks

 

The first time you open the Validation interface you are prompted to run the assessment.  This typically takes a minute or so depending on the size of the database and file system.  When the assessment is complete the resulting report is categorized with an indication of the number of issues found in each.

 

Sitecore Rocks

 

Expanding a category will display the issues in that category.  The issues are color coded by the four severities:  Errors, Warnings, Suggestions and Hints.  Each issue has a title, problem, solution and even sometimes a button to fix the issue.

Sitecore Rocks

 

When we open the context menu on the results we have the option to only show issues of a selected severity.  We also have the ability to export the results of the assessment to HTML, XML, or CSV.

 

Jabra customer case

 

If we select the "Filter Validations" in either the context menu or at the top of the Validations interface, we can see the full list of validations and select to filter out a validation if wanted.

 

Sitecore Rocks

 

Here's the best part.  We can write our own custom validations and run them along with the out of the box validations!  To create our own custom validations, click the "Edit Custom Validations" button at the top of the Validations interface to open the Custom Validations dialog.  Here we can add our own validations by clicking the "Add" button or edit an existing custom validation by clicking "Edit."  This opens the custom validation editor where we can create/edit our custom validation.

 

Sitecore Rocks

 

We have the ability to check the following by either writing a Sitecore query or an Xpath query:

 

  • Sitecore Items (Sitecore Query)
  • Sitecore Items (Xpath)
  • Web.config (Xpath)
  • Expanded web.config (Xpath)
  • Web Site File System (Xpath)
  • Data Folder File System (Xpath)

 

Once we have written our check criteria we can define a severity, category, title, problem, solution and even a fix.  That's it!  Now we have validations we can run on our solution to validate anything we choose.

 

The Validations interface of the Sitecore  Rocks Manage tool is extremely helpful for validating a Sitecore implementation for best practices.  It can be used at any point during the software development lifecycle to validate an implementation as well.

 

Stay tuned for more Sitecore Rocks features tomorrow!