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How to view the Sitefinity API Reference in Visual Studio 2010

by User Not Found

Update: This post was written while the API Reference was still in the SDK. Since then we've excluded it from the SDK and provided a separate download in the client accounts on Once you download it, the steps to install are the same as the ones described below.

Minutes ago we released the Sitefinity 5.0 SDK. Apart from the many fixes across all samples, we’ve also made some changes to the documentation that comes with it. Since January, all Sitefinity documentation can be accessed online at

One notable exception is the Sitefinity API Reference. Before the launch of the Sitefinity documentation portal, we used Sandcastle to built the API Reference. This was a tedious process, especially when preparing the online version. To remove all these obstacles and make the publishing process faster, we decided to stop distributing the API Reference online. For those of you who still need to look at the descriptions of Sitefinity classes, there’s another way that you can access it from the Sitefinity 5.0 SDK.

Install the Sitefinity API Reference

  • Once you install the SDK, navigate to the \Content\Documents\CHM folder under the installation root (Usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Telerik\Sitefinity 5.0\SDK).
  • Run the “Install_Sitefinity API Reference.bat” file.
  • The help installer should open, looking like this:
  • Click the “Add” link right next to “Sitefinity API Reference”.
  • Wait for the installation process to finish.

View the Sitefinity API Reference in Visual Studio

  • Open Visual Studio 2010
  • Go to the Help –> View Help menu.
  • The Help Viewer will open, and you should be able to access “Sitefinity API Reference” in the Content tab.

We will update the API Reference with each release of the SDK. Meanwhile, your feedback on the documentation is more than welcome.


Leave a comment
  1. Pierre Alain Carrier May 16, 2012
    The xcopy failed, even when run as administrator, but beside that, it works.
  2. PVR May 16, 2012
    As mentioned, following failed
    COPY /Y "Sitefinity API Reference.msha" HelpContentSetup.msha
    so had to perform manually for it to work
  3. Chris May 21, 2012
    This requires VS 2010 SP1. It doesn't seem to work well without the SP. Microsoft Help Viewer 1.1 is in the SP.
  4. Devin Jun 12, 2012
    A web-based version of the API reference would be much less painful than CHMs and the 990MB download in order to see what members a class has. Help search is a joke and offline help is much harder to navigate than online versions...
  5. Micah Jul 08, 2012
    I would have to agree, I have a preference for online docs rather than the built-in docs.  I only found this gem recently and have been wondering about the lack of online documentation while trying to build some content modules.  Had I known that I was sitting on the ms-help docs all along, my life would have been easier up to this point. 

    Don't get me wrong, this kind of documentation can be tedious to create even with docs comments inline w/ code, etc, so I'm not undervaluing the work, rather, it would just seem to have a better more visible place online rather than a hidden gem only discovered by this blog post.  I'd just prefer more "open" documentation - when documentation is a challenge to obtain, there's not much of a selling point to me as a dev.  It's enough to deal with the "learning cliff" let alone "where's the documentation that I need as a dev?"  Forums are great, but definitely can't be a primary solution IMO.

    The docs problem is solved for me at this point, I'd suggest making it part of the SDK installer process or make it more visible online.

    BTW - I too had to copy the .msha file manually for it to work.  Though running in administrative mode for the bat file, the file never got copied for one reason or another, my guess is something to do with UAC - maybe better to work with a user's temp folder in the bat file?

  6. Miguel Nov 21, 2012
    Just installed Sitefinity_SDK_5.2.3800.0.msi and looking over the folders structure, the CHM folder was nowhere to be found. There is a PDF folder with the PDF version of the existing online
    documentation, but no SDK reference API.

    The reference will no longer be distributed with the SDK?
  7. Slavo Nov 23, 2012
    Hi everyone.

    We decided to remove the API Reference from the SDK when we implemented the new installer (which includes both the product and the SDK). The reasons for this were that many people who only needed the API Reference had to download the whole SDK, and its size was also made large by including the reference.

    We have provided the SDK reference as a separate download in your accounts. You can get it from there and follow the same installation steps described here in the blog post.
  8. ross Jan 29, 2013


    I have just spent a fruitless afternoon searching for the Sitefinity API Reference for release 5.3. It was so easy to find for release 3.x!

    I can't see it in the download section of My Account but I only have download links for:

    - Evaluation version
    - Sitefinity Project Manager
    - Something called

    I can't see any link to the API reference so have I missed something?



  9. Slavo Jan 30, 2013

    Hello Ross,

    Have you downloaded a Sitefinity trial version before that? If you want to be able to download free products, you must have downloaded Sitefinity before that. Try to download the evaluation and see if the API reference will appear in your account.

  10. Devin Aug 01, 2013
    Sandcastle Help File Builder
  11. Tracy B Apr 23, 2015
    For anyone else who finds this blog via a web search, currently, the version 8.0 API Reference can be found at and downloaded from

    Leave a comment