Last Friday marked yet another update to the Sitefinity Thunder extension for Visual Studio. Here are some highlights since the last blog post update.
Create Website Templates in Website Projects
The Website Template project was introduced in Sitefinity Thunder 1.0.9. Now, you can create these templates (combining Themes and Master Pages) directly to your Sitefinity website, without the need for a separate project.
In addition, you can also add an additional theme to this template by simply adding a New Item to the template folder.
Edit Master Pages Using Thunder
This helpful feature allows you to edit .master pages directly on the running website inside visual studio, saving your changes back to the live site. This works similarly to the Widget Templates editor, working directly with the live file on the website.
Simply open the template in the Thunder Explorer and double-click it to open it up in Visual Studio.
New Item Templates
The latest Thunder release also adds some fantastic new Visual Studio Item Templates, allowing you to easily add new Sitefinity elements to your site.
Sitefinity Field Control
Creating Sitefinity Field controls for Sitefinity Modules (both the native ones and your custom ones from the Module Builder) is now a snap with the new Sitefinity Field Control Item Template.
You can then use this Field in any Sitefinity module’s custom field:
And Sitefinity will use your custom field control and template to input that field’s value.
Sitefinity Layout Widget
You can now easily create and deploy custom Layout Widgets for your pages. These are the elements that allow you to build custom layouts on the fly for your pages.
Gabe wrote a blog about Empowering end-users using custom Sitefinity Layouts that describes the flexibility these layout widgets can offer.
With Thunder, creating these elements is a snap with the included Layout Widget Item Template.
In addition, Thunder takes care of automatically registering the widget for you so it's ready for immediate use!
Field Selector for Widget Control Designer Templates
Another welcome feature is the ability for the Widget Designer Item Template to automatically detect Guid properties, allowing you to choose an appropriate field selector for Sitefinity content types, such as Page, Image, Document, and Video.
Be sure to download or update Thunder now from the Visual Studio Gallery or from the Extensions Manager of Visual Studio itself.
As always, be sure to share your experiences, comments, and suggestions in the official Sitefinity Thunder Discussion Forum.