Quick one today, as I need to spend time writing up my presentation from the Sitecore Technical User Group in Manchester last week. (Hopefully will have something done for next week's post)
After the usergroup presentations I was talking to Steve McGill from Sitecore. Since I'd been presenting an idea about automating the creation of Sitecore instances for development, he pointed out something really interesting that I had somehow failed to notice: There's a command line extension you can use with the Sitecore Instance Manager which lets you install and delete instances via scripts.
You can grab the source for Hedgehog.TDS.Build.Sim.Console from GitHub, compile it and add the resulting .exe to your SIM install folder.
You can then ask SIM to add and remove instances by passing command line parameters to this tool. As per the repo readme, you can install with something like:
Hedgehog.Tds.Build.Sim.Console.exe install "InstanceName:demo.tds" "InstanceDirectory:c:\sitecore" "RepoDirectory:c:\sitecorerepo" "RepoFile:Sitecore 7.1 rev. 130926.zip" "ConnectionString:Data Source=.;User ID=sitecore;Password=sitecore123" "AppPoolIdentity:NetworkService" "LicencePath:C:\Sitecore\license.xml"
(line breaks added for clarity)
I've had a few conversations around the office about how automation for SIM might be useful for development tasks in the last few months, and this looks like it will be of help investigating those ideas.
Hat tip to Hedgehog and Mike Edwards for publishing this useful bit of code. There are some other extensions (like invoking SIM from MSBuild) in the rest of their Build Extensions repo.