The Sitecore Rocks plugin is a powerful tool that I see many developers using as a straight replacement to the Sitecore interface. Other developers have been hesitant to switch to Rocks as they feel that it only offers a different UI while providing the same functionality. This blog post is intended to highlight some of the unique parts of Sitecore rocks that either expose more information and functionality or allow you to quickly access features. After using Rocks for some time these are a couple of the tools I find myself going back to again and again.
Tip: If you find yourself using a tool often you can “pin” it by ctrl+shift+right-clicking on an item.
The Cache view is a quick way to view the size of the different Sitecore caches and their growth rates. I prefer this to the traditional admin page. You also have the ability to quickly preview the contents of a cache by right clicking the cache and selecting “Explore Cache…”
This will give you a preview of what is in the cache at any given time.
Another great tool is the XPath builder. While it doesn’t offer anything that can’t be found elsewhere I do enjoy how quick and clean it is to use. While building a complex query it’s simple to just pop this open, select a context and build your query.
Sitecore rocks allows you to easily set validation on fields while creating templates.
Sorting Template Fields
My final tip for the day is taking advantage of rocks to easily sort template fields. By loading a content item the right clicking and selecting Tasks->Sort Template fields you’ll be presented with an interface that will show all field, including those inherited from other templates.
From here you can adjust the sort orders in a holistic manner. Just keep in mind that inherited templates may be used elsewhere as well.
These were just a couple of tools and tips I find myself using often. I hope you find it helpful and encourage you to explore the tool on your own as it offers much more than what is listed here.