Contributor Guide

Support for Sitecore 7 has discontinued with SPE 5.0.

The following guide should provide you with enough information to setup a development environment configured to contribute to SPE. We'll begin with a single installation of Sitecore 8+.

The solution requires Visual Studio 2015 or later.

This guide assumes a source root location of "C:\Source" and a site root location of "C:\inetput\wwwroot". These are not prerequisites of the project, and you can use whatever folder locations suit you.

Single Instance for Sitecore 8 & 9

  1. Meet the prerequisites found here

  2. Install Sitecore 8+ to a folder of your choice, for example C:\inetpub\wwwroot\SitecoreSPE_8

  3. Clone the repo to your local development environment

    cd "C:\Source\Console"  // Your local source folder, with a new folder for the solution
    git init
    git remote add origin
    git fetch origin
    git checkout -b master --track origin/master
  4. Copy C:\Source\Console\deploy.user.json.sample to C:\Source\Console\deploy.user.json. This will be a file just for your local environment and will be ignored by git.

  5. Edit the sites definition in deploy.user.json to target your Sitecore web root folder, making sure you use double-slashes for paths like in the existing file. For this site, make sure the version property is 8. Remove any other sites in the file that do not apply.

    The deploy.user.json file supports deploying SPE to multiple Sitecore installations. For now, we are just deploying to a single instance, but later on in the tutorial we will cover multiple instances.

  6. Copy C:\Source\Console\UserConfiguration\App_Config\Include\z.Spe.Development.User.config.sample to a file of the same name, without the .sample suffix. This file can be edited to add any SPE-specific configuration that you want in your sites, but don't wish to commit back into the repo.

    You may notice there is a %%sourceFolder%% value in this configuration file. This is a special string that gets replaced as part of the SPE deployment with your source folder location. You don't need to update this manually.

  7. Open the solution in Visual Studio.

  8. Compile the solution. Whenever you compile the solution, SPE will be automatically deployed to the site web root paths you have set in deploy.user.json

  9. Login to Sitecore

  10. Navigate to /Unicorn.aspx. Use Unicorn to sync all projects into Sitecore.

    SPE uses Unicorn for serializing Sitecore items to the source folder, and for syncing items from disk into Sitecore. For more information on Unicorn, see

  11. SPE is now installed in Sitecore and you're ready for developing!

Any changes you make going foward just require a build of the solution. Remember that when pulling down updates to the source, you should execute a Unicorn sync to ensure your items are up to date.

Multiple Instances

The SPE deployment process supports multiple sites and multiple versions of Sitecore. The following steps carry on from above to add further support for another Sitecore site, such as 8.x or 9.x.

  1. Complete the steps for a Single Instance.

  2. Install Sitecore 8.x/9.x to a folder of your choice, for example C:\inetpub\wwwroot\SitecoreSPE_91

  3. Edit the sites definition in deploy.user.json to add your new Sitecore web root folder. Set the version property to 9.0, 9.1 or 9.2 depending on the major/minor version.

  4. Follow steps 7 onward from the Single Instance guide above to deploy to your Sitecore 8.x/9.x installation and sync the SPE items into Sitecore.

SPE can be deployed to as many Sitecore sites as you like. Each time you first deploy to a new installation, make sure you use Unicorn to sync the latest state of items into Sitecore.

Optional: PowerShell Remoting support

To add the SPE PowerShell Remoting Module scripts into your machine's PowerShell Module path, execute the .\Setup_Module.ps1 script from the source folder. This will add the \Modules folder from source into your PSModulePath environment variable. Once this is done, you can use Import-Module SPE on your development machine to run the remoting scripts.

Optional: Junction Support

As part of the SPE deployment process, all of the relevant binary, configuration and sitecore module files are copied over from the projects within the solution. This means that any changes to static files such as JS / CSS files require a full build for these to be deployed to the site. As the build triggers an application pool recycle of your site, this can be a little slow for quick changes.

For more rapid development, you can enable junction deployment on your sites. When this is enabled, rather than copying over the static files, junction points will be setup for various folders so that the folders within the Sitecore installation are directly linked to the source folder. Any changes made in the solution are seen instantly, because the solution and the site are referencing the exact same files.

To enable a junction deployment for a site, add junction property to the site definition and set it to true:

    "sites": [
            "path": "C:\\inetput\\wwwroot\\SitecoreSPE_8\\Website",
            "version": 8,
            "junction": true

Note that with junction deployments, a solution build is still required if you want to deploy any code or .config changes.

It is not currently supported for a junction deployment site to be changed back into a non-junction deployment site. If you wish to do this, you should manually delete the following folders from your Sitecore installation before updating the junction property back to false: sitecore modules\PowerShell and sitecore modules\Shell\PowerShell

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