April 17, 2024

Dear Sitecore Family,

Today’s post is about my experience of working with Sitecore Development Toolkit.

Firstly, Thank you Alen Pelin for a nice simple yet powerful tool, for syncing the Sitecore Items between different Developer Boxes as well as different environments.

Yes, I agree that TDS is by far the best tool for Item Sync, but there are other good options available too, like Sitecore Development Toolkit and Unicorn, which are developed by Sitecore Enthusiasts and the main benefit is they are free to use for the Sitecore Community.

Note: This post is about sharing my experience of using Sitecore Development Toolkit and nothing more.


  • SDT is FREE and is available on Sitecore Marketplace for the Sitecore Community to use.
  • SDT is hooked with various item state events – Saved, Moving, Moved, Renamed, Deleting – and based on these, it serializes the items on disk.
  • We can commit the serialized .item files and their corresponding folders into our repository, and take full advantage of versioning and revision control system (SVN, TFS, GIT, etc).
  • When Sitecore starts, SDT deserializes all the Serialized items. So, to add item changes of different developers of our team to our local development environment, after taking the latest build, we simply need to recycle the application pool of the Sitecore application so that our Local box is updated. So no human intervention is required to apply item changes of other developers to our local database.


  • The serialized items are not managed as a project, the way they are in TDS, and it becomes a little difficult to work with them as individual files. Often times, we might want to add the folder to our Visual Studio solution, to manage these files and commit in our repository rather than an individual folder or directory.
  • On Multiple saves for an item, the same item is saved as different revision numbers and sometimes the item changes are lost if someone in the team forgets to commit all the serialized files – i.e. the ones with different revision numbers.
  • If two developers are working on the same item, the revision IDs of the item will be different in both the developers and there is a strong possibility that we overwrite the item changes of the other developers.
  • The last point in Pros can also be considered in Cons, say we take the latest build and see only CSS changes are available and move ahead without recycling the application pool, the item of other developers will be overwritten by us on performing different activities like – Save, Rename, etc.
  • In case we configure SDT in the midst of an ongoing project, then we cannot directly have the items serialized. We need to fire some action – say save or rename to get all the required items serialized on disk.

Have you used SDT or any other Free Item Sync Tool? Do you have any other learnings? Yes?

Well, then please share, because Sharing is Caring!

Happy Sitecoring! 🙂

2 thoughts on “My Learnings of using Sitecore Development Toolkit

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