Thunder Update: An issue with registering templates was discovered and has already been patched. Be sure to update to the latest Sitefinity Thunder version for the fix!
Sitefinity Thunder continued it's timely release schedule last week with a new 1.0.9 release. Here are some highlights.
Website Template Project Type
A new Visual Studio Project type is now available for quickly creating Website Templates.
This project type replaces old "Theme" project type that was previously available in Thunder. While the previous "Theme" project type only supported creating new Sitefinity Themes, the new Sitefinity Template project type supports creating an entire Website Template, including both a Theme and an associated Master Page for creating Page Templates.
Just like before, it generates all the necessary files as a starting point for your theme, now adding the master page to the package.
Of course, you can also add additional master pages to your project, and thunder will automatically detect that type and present it to you when adding a new item to that folder. This is especially handy since working with templates in your App_Data folder of the Sitefinity website doesn't natively allow you to add .master files.
Also, like the old Themes template, this new Sitefinity Website Template project type can be added either to your existing Sitefinity solution, or a separate solution entirely. This is great for sharing your project via source control and keeping your projects and templates organizes.
Thunder also gives you the ability to upload your website templates to the live Sitefinity website (be sure you have connected Thunder to your website).
This will also create a new Page Template based on your master pages, as well as register the associated theme in the backend. This is a fantastic time saver!
More to come
Sitefinity Thunder continues to grow and expand, mostly based on your feedback. So be sure to share your experiences, comments, and suggestions in the Sitefinity Thunder Discussion Forum and watch the blogs for the next Thunder update!