The Build Properties Tab is used to set the build properties for a specific project configuration. The project configuration to manipulate can be chosen by changing the "Configuration" drop down at the top of the page.

The build properties are used by TDS to communicate with a Sitecore site during builds and deployments.

Build Output Path

The Build Output Path is the location TDS will use to collect all files that need to be deployed to Sitecore during the code deployment phase of the build.

The default value for this setting is typically correct. We do not recommend that this setting is changed.

Edit user specific configuration

TDS supports the use of user-specific project properties through the use of a file in the project folder ending with the extension .user. This file holds settings that apply to the local instance of TDS, and consequently, it should not be checked into source control.

The main use for this file is to support multiple developers working with the same project configuration, but using different instances of Sitecore. e.g. Alice and Bob would like to select the "Debug" configuration to build to their debug Sitecore instance. Alice's debug Sitecore Web Url is http://alicews.local and Bob's debug Sitecore Web Url is http://bobws.local. If these settings were stored in the main project file, they would conflict with each other and cause problems. By storing them locally in a seperate file, each developer can have their own settings.

To use local settings, click the "Edit user specific configuration (.user file)" check box and edit the settings that need to be stored locally. Saving the project will automatically update the local settings and un-check the check box.

Any settings made locally will be read-only (greyed out) on the setting page if the user isn't editing the local settings.

Sitecore Web URL

When TDS deploys Sitecore items, it uses a web service, installed on your Sitecore instance. The field should contain the url to the root of your web server so TDS can find the web service. If this field is left blank, TDS will not deploy Sitecore items to your server.

Sitecore Deploy Folder

During builds, TDS needs to be able to locate the Sitecore instance on the file system. This allows TDS to deploy compiled files or install the Sitecore Connector. This field must be set to the location of the web site on the file system. TDS accepts both local file paths and UNC paths.

Sitecore Deploy Folder should point at the location that the Sitecore Web URL is running from. If you select a folder that TDS does not think it is a Sitecore web root a warning symbol next the Sitecore Deploy Folder. This symbol will display when TDS can’t locate a Web.Config in the directory and a bin folder containing the Sitecore.Kernel.dll.

Clicking the Test button after setting the Deploy Folder and the Web Url will test that both values point at the same location.

Recursive Deploy Action

When TDS is deploying Sitecore items, TDS may determine based on individiual items "Child Item Synchronization" settings that sub-items below an item in the Sitecore content tree should be removed. The "Recursive Deploy Action" setting controls how TDS handles that situation.

There are three possible options:

Ignore Sitecore Items not in the project - This is the default option. TDS will ignore items that sould be removed.

Delete Sitecore Items not in the project - TDS will permanently delete items from Sitecore during deployment when TDS determines that these items should be removed. These items will be removed permanently, and must be recovered from a database backup.

Move Sitecore Item not in the project to the Recycle Bin - TDS will move items to the Sitecore Recycle bin if they need to be removed from Sitecore. If the items need to be recovered, they can be found in the Recycle Bin located in the Sitecore menu (from the Sitecore desktop).

Enable Lighting Deploy Mode

Enabling Lightning Deploy Mode causes TDS to compare the Revision ID's of the Sitecore item to the local .item file before attempting to deploy the item. If the Revision ID's match, the item is not deployed. This can improve deployment time dramatically if there are few changes to the items in the project.

Disable File Deployment

Stops TDS from deploying files to the directory specified in the Sitecore Deploy Folder

Sitecore Access Guid

TDS uses a web service to access the Sitecore database. To reduce the chances of un-authorized access to the database on public facing sites, TDS needs to pass a Guid to the service whenever it is accessed.

Use this field to ensure the access guid for multiple TDS projects in the solution are the same for a specific project configuration.

You can also choose not to permanently install the Sitecore connector in your Sitecore instance. This is done by clearing the "Install Sitecore Connector" check box. When the checkbox is cleared and TDS needs to access an instance of Sitecore, a random guid will be chosen and the connector will be installed only as long as it is needed during the deployment.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Sitecore Access Guid is set at the bottom of the Build Property Page. The Guid is also in Sitecore in the /_DEV/web.config file. This value is updated by TDS during the build. Please verify that TDS is writing the correct value to that file.

Do you have two TDS projects in your solution? If you do, then the values in each of the build property pages need to match.

We have a sample project available that demonstrates how file replacements can be used.

You essentially set the source to a location on your file system. You then can set the target as needed. Typically you would set this to a location on the destination server via UNC path, or you can set it simply as '.\' and this will copy it to the "Build Output Path" and then ultimately end up at the "Sitecore Deploy Folder" (or update package).

Beginning with version 2.1 of Team Development for Sitecore, you can create a separate TDS project for each database you wish to connect to. Simply add a new TDS project to your solution, right click on the project name, select properties, and then on the General tab specify the Sitecore database you wish to connect to. By default, the Master database is selected.

To configure the deployment settings for additional projects do the following:

  1. If you are using a .user file for the 1st project, then copy that to the 2nd TDS project's location.
  2. The "Source Web Project" setting should be left blank. This will prevent building twice and allow you to leave the "Deploy" folder blank.
  3. The settings in the configuration manager can be the same.

To accomplish this in the development environment, the Sitecore Web URL, Sitecore Deploy Folder and Sitecore Access GUID must be the same across all TDS projects. Also, Install Sitecore Connector must be checked for all projects. All of these values can be set for each project in the Build property page.

If you change the value of the Sitecore Access GUID for any project, you must change all projects to match the new value. After the property pages are saved, you must right-click on a TDS project in the solution explorer (It doesn’t matter which one) and choose Install Sitecore Connector. This will update the connector with the new GUID, which will allow all TDS projects to communicate with Sitecore.

In the production environment, the Install Sitecore Connector can be left un-checked, since this environment is deploy only. When the deploy runs for each TDS project a new GUID will be chosen for each deployment.