Sean Holmesby

.NET and Sitecore Developer


Sitecore Development Tools

Last week I was honored to be a part of the Sitecore Development Tools Round Table discussion at the 2013 Sitecore Users Virtual Summit. Talking with a team of seasoned Sitecore developers, we discussed the tools and add-ons that we each use during our everyday Sitecore development.

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Setting the Item SortOrder value in Sitecore Rocks Query Analyzer

This post discusses how you can utilize the Sitecore Rocks Query Analyzer to set the sort order of items in the Sitecore Content Management System.

In Sitecore, items are sorted by their value stored in the Standard Field __Sortorder. Typically, when adding items, Sitecore will separate these values by 100. Then when an item is resorted, Sitecore will determine where it is sorted to, and adjust it’s __Sortorder value accordingly. Usually this means splitting the difference between the sort order values of the items it has been placed in between.
01 - Sort Value

After many sort order changes, it’s possible that Sitecore will find it has run out of integers that it can split, so it will change all of the sort order values of the items to be 100 apart again, still keeping the same relative order.

It’s ok to be negative

One thing I found recently was that the __Sortorder field can contain negative values, and still function properly. You can manually set -5000 in the __Sortorder field on an item, and be fairly confident that it’ll be sorted to the top.

Even if you move an item above one that’s been set with a negative value, Sitecore will use a more negative value to ensure it can keep the order of items in check.

So when is this useful?

Sometimes reordering can be a tedious process, particularly if you have the same structure in multiple places.
Also, clicking and dragging each item, can be time consuming.
So how can you speed up the process?
You can write specific sort order code if you want them all the same. But that will require a build, and will always keep the sort order fixed to the way the code intends, not allowing manual changes later.

Or, if you just want to set it once, you can utilize the inline editing feature of the Sitecore Rocks Query Analyzer result set.

Grab all the items you’re after, displaying the __Sortorder field in the results.
02 - Query Analyzer results

Double click the cells for the items and set them to negative values.
03 - Editing Sort Order

Once that’s done you can refresh the content tree and see your items resorted the way you want them.
04 - Sorted items