Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NuGet Packages and Visual Studio Templates

In our efforts to make developing Umbraco based sites and packages more painless we are releasing a collection of NuGet packages and Visual Studio templates for Umbraco 5. So if you are using Visual Studio to develop Umbraco based sites, your life just got a little easier ;)

NuGet Packages

I hope you already know about NuGet, but if you don't here is a short description "NuGet is a free, open source developer focused package management system for the .NET platform intent on simplifying the process of incorporating third party libraries into a .NET application during development", and I would encourage you to check out the project page on Codeplex.

We have created 11 NuGet packages that can be used for different purposes, which I will try to describe below



As you might have guessed the main package is Umbraco.5.0.310.0.nupkg, which is used to setup an Umbraco 5 MVC3 based site in Visual Studio. So to install it you simply go to the Package Manager Console and write:
"Install-Package Umbraco" and boom! you have an Umbraco solution ready to roll (to install the package you can also right click on references in your project and search for the package in the NuGet feed). After installing the package you just need to configure the project to use IIS Express (Visual Studio 2010 SP1 required) or setup a new site in IIS and you should be ready to go.

A majority of the other packages are dependencies to the main Umbraco NuGet package, but can also be used independently. Say you want to create a Hive provider you would simply type "Install-Package Umbraco.Hive" and all the dependencies needed to create a custom Hive provider will be added to your project. The last four packages listed above are intended for developers who want to create a custom Editor, ParameterEditor, PropertyEditor and/or Tree with corresponding naming.

We hope that you will find these packages useful in the development of Umbraco 5 based sites or packages. All feedback is welcome.

Visual Studio templates

In addition to the NuGet packages and to help getting started even easier we have also created a collection of extensions for Visual Studio 2010 in the form of project templates. You can find these templates by going to the Visual Studio Gallery or searching for them in the Online Gallery from within Visual Studio -> Go to the Tools menu, click Extension Manager and in the select the Online Gallery pane in the dialog. Search for Umbraco 5 and you should get these six results:


Umbraco 5 MVC3 Project Template - A project for creating an Umbraco 5 based ASP.NET MVC3 web application
Umbraco 5 Hive Provider - A project template for creating an advanced Hive provider with Entity, Revision and Schema Repositories
Umbraco 5 Simple Hive Provider - A project template for creating a simple Hive provider
Umbraco 5 Parameter Editor - A project template for creating a custom Parameter Editor
Umbraco 5 Property Editor - A project template for creating a custom Property Editor
Umbraco 5 Tree - A project template for creating a custom Tree

You can choose to install the templates that you would find usable be it one of them or all of them.
All of the project templates uses the NuGet packages for dependencies, so the Umbraco 5 MVC3 project template would give you pretty much the same result as installing the Umbraco NuGet package, but since its installed as an extension you will have it in the list of projects when you select New -> Project in Visual Studio and you would get a complete solution setup with a few clicks.
The rest of the templates contains a base structure for creating a simple or advanced Hive provider, Parameter- and Property Editor and finally a Tree with a Menu Item.

The two variations of a Hive provider contains the classes needed to get up and running, and with the dependencies and settings wired up to give an overview of how everything is tied together.
The ParameterEditor, PropertyEditor and Tree templates also contains the base classes for a simple version of an Editor or Tree, which should be easy to extend if needed.

We hope that you will find these project templates useful and that they'll help you get started with Umbraco 5.
Again, we would love to get your feedback on these templates. If you have suggestions for additional templates that you would like to see feel free to drop us a comment.

If you would like to bend any of these predefined templates to your needs you can easily create you own - fork the source on bitbucket: https://bitbucket.org/sitereactor/umbraco-5-templates-for-visual-studio/src

Finally, if like the templates we have created please give them some stars on the Visual Studio Gallery

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