Sitefinity Thunder is a free Visual Studio extension designed to help developers extend and customize Sitefinity websites. It allows you to both enhance local development projects, as well as connect to remote staging (and even live) websites to keep all custom elements in sync.
Although the current release (188.8.131.52 as of today) supports working only with themes, the team is already working to expand this to additional Sitefinity customizations such as widgets, templates, and even modules. Be sure to watch the official Sitefinity Thunder discussion forum for the latest updates.
You can install Sitefinity Thunder from the Visual Studio Gallery directly. Alternatively you can install directly from within Visual Studio using the Extension Manager.
For a video walkthrough Thunder installation, as well as a simple demonstration of creating a new theme, check out the new Sitefinity Getting Started Guide: Installing and Using Sitefinity Thunder.
Connecting to Sitefinity Using Thunder
Once you have Thunder installed, you can use it to connect to any Sitefinity website, including those used for development, staging, and even production. Thunder allows you to create a central project for all your Sitefinity themes, then deploy and register those themes to any connected website. This is done automatically, without any need for FTP credentials, editing XML configurations, or even leaving Visual Studio.
A video demonstrating this process is also available in the Sitefinity Getting Started Guide: Connecting to Sitefinity Using Thunder .
This first release is simply laying the foundation for many updates to the Thunder extension. Each will further empower developers to easily update and extend Sitefinity sites.
Try the extension out today, and as always be sure to share your feedback, comments, and suggestions with us in the Sitefinity Thunder Discussion Forum.