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February 6, 2016 / kiranpatils

Reflector tips and tricks every Sitecore Developer should know

In this week whole Sitecore community heard a BIG News that our Sitecore Guru has decided to Bid Farewell to Sitecore community. Whole community was there to wish him luck! And it has a reason. Lot of us (Including me!) started Sitecore coding looking at his blog. In those days. When no Sitecore documentation/blogs were available in the universe except Sir John West’s blog and SDN Forum replies. It is true “Passion is contagious!”

Would like to dedicate this blog post to SirJohn West!

https://community.sitecore.net/general/f/13/p/2524/7208#7208

As Sir John West mentioned here that Reflector is a cool tool to have : http://www.sitecore.net/learn/blogs/technical-blogs/john-west-sitecore-blog/posts/2011/05/cool-tools-for-sitecore-aspnet-cms-developers.aspx

We know that there are a lot of options available which are free. But somehow I love and prefer to use Reflector. I know it’s paid. But it’s worth. If you would like to convince your boss then give them this link from Joel’s blog : http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000043.html Tip #9

I have seen that lot of Developers (Senior or Junior) prefer to Search on Google for solution first – Which is good. But if not found then they give up. But so, less folks go ahead and try to see what is happening in Sitecore.Kernel/Any assembly. Because If you ask me what is Best Sitecore documentation then my answer will be “Reflector“. In my 6+ years crafting on Sitecore. Have fixed lot of issue or implemented lot of features using Reflector only! And you know How I started using it? On SDN Forum. John recommended lot of folks to check Reflector. And looking at my seniors who were expert in Sitecore. And they always relied in Reflector to understand any behavior!

So, as life’s secret lies in “The Secret” book 🙂 Sitecore’s Secret lies in Sitecore’s assemblies and only Reflector can help you read it. So, would like to encourage all Sitecorians to start using Reflector. Earlier days I just used to open each class, method etc. To see what is lying inside? How Sitecore architect something this way? Why they did so? And during this exploration. I learnt Sitecore basics! And once you know Basics – Then it’s easy to become master of any technology “Every expert was once a beginner!”

In this blog, I would like to share some basics. And features I think are less/not used. But very powerful!

  1. Good starter links:
    1. https://www.simple-talk.com/dotnet/.net-tools/first-steps-with-.net-reflector/
    2. https://documentation.red-gate.com/display/REF8/.NET+Reflector+8+documentation
  2. Make sure all  your required Sitecore assemblies are loaded in reflector
  3. Search string or constant or Exact Match features are good to search any specific error message
  4. If you are searching for Class then make sure Search by Type (CTRL+T) is selected and for Method/Property/Field — Search by Member is selected – Very basic thing!
  5. If you would like to see Where some property/method/field/class is being used then you can use “Analyze” feature. Please refer “Analyze screen”
search-large

Reflector Search screen

Analyze

Analyze screen

Which one is your favorite trick. Which you think we all should know?

Thanks to all of those people who share this small tips and tricks with me!

Happy Coding! 🙂

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