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Sitecore 8 – Enable Developer Center, XPath Builder and File Explorer

By on January 14, 2015 in Daily Tip, Sitecore, Tips and Tricks with 11 Comments

Hi there,

Today I saw the following tweet from Kevin Brechbühl on Twitter, in where he asked if anyone knows where he could find the XPath Builder in #Sitecore 8? I guess more people are looking for it since the release of Sitecore 7.5. You can read it in this thread on Stack Overflow.


I responded to him that it wasn’t continued in Sitecore 8 (it was already discontinued since the release of Sitecore 7.5) and advised him to install the windows version of Sitecore Rocks, since he needed this on a production machine and no Visual Studio was installed. And it was also advised on the Stack Overflow thread mentioned above.

But after some investigation I was wrong!!!! 

It is possible to enable the Developer Center, which includes XPath Builder and File Explorer.

In this blogpost I’m going to show you how!

I’ve found two possible solutions to enable one of the most used Developer tools in older versions of Sitecore. All the functionality is still there in Sitecore, the only thing is that Sitecore removed the shortcuts and kinda let all the people thinking that they removed this piece of functionality completely.

Solution 1:

The XML applications and corresponding controls still exists in the Core database, so when we want to open up the applications in the browser we can just open up the following url’s and we get the Developer Center, XPath Builder and File Explorer right there in Sitecore 8 or wether you’re using Sitecore 7.5.

The Sitecore Developer Center opened up in Sitecore 8 by calling the following url: 

  • http://[YOUR-SITECORE-INSTANCE]/sitecore/shell/default.aspx?xmlcontrol=IDE


The XPath Builder opened up in Sitecore 8 by calling the following url: 

  • http://[YOUR-SITECORE-INSTANCE]/sitecore/shell/default.aspx?xmlcontrol=IDE.XPath.Builder


 The File Explorer opened up in Sitecore 8 by calling the following url: 

  • http://[YOUR-SITECORE-INSTANCE]/sitecore/shell/default.aspx?xmlcontrol=FileExplorer

Solution 2:

The only thing that is lacking in Sitecore 7.5 and Sitecore 8 are the shortcuts in the startmenu. That’s why i’ve added a package to this blogpost which can be installed on Sitecore 7.5 or Sitecore 8.

The package just contains the original shortcut items for the Development Center and File Explorer, which I extracted from an older Sitecore version. It’s really that simple.


You can download the package here: Sitecore 8 Development Center and File Explorer shortcuts-1.0

So there’s actually no more need for Nikola Gotsev ‘s SPEAK XPATH BUILDER module which is available on the Sitecore Market Place, it’s still right there!

So go ahead and install the package, it’ll add the two mentioned shortcuts:


If we now click on the shortcuts in the Startmenu on the Desktop we’ll end up with the Developer Center and File Explorer inside Sitecore 7.5 or Sitecore 8.



As you can see in the images above, the toolbar isn’t 100% nicely aligned, but he, we’re developers right….we can still use the Developer Center!

Hope this blogpost was helpful for those of you that are missing the good old developers functionality!

Happy Sitecore trails!

Robbert Hock

About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Freelance and passionate Sitecore Developer living in The Netherlands. Running my own company Kayee Internet & Software Oplossingen. I am specialized since 2008 in Sitecore and Umbraco implementations. Sitecore MVP since 2011. Founder and member of the Dutch Sitecore User Group. You can follow me on twitter: @kayeeNL. My website: .


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  1. Sitecore – Hidden Gems | Microsoft | May 18, 2016
  1. It’s awesome tip! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Nona Durham says:

    Great article. Good to know how to bring back the old stuff. I haven’t really used the xpath builder in such a long time. Sitecore PowerShell is much more powerful and provides the ability to export results, which is the biggest issue I had with using the xpath builder.

  3. Great article, thanks for that.

  4. Andy Cohen says:


  5. Mark Stiles says:

    Thanks buddy. Needed this one badly. I figured they just removed it entirely.

  6. Ivan says:

    One more way to open any Sitecore app. Open Sitecore->All apps->Run command line. Type in Files/FileExplorer and hit Ok.

  7. sitecoredou says:

    Needless to say great article!!
    Just want to share that I use chrome mainly and I use Sitecore Developer Tool Favorites with the links listed here. If you managing 10+ sites with different environments, the Sitecore Developer Tool favorites come very handy.
    Just nstall “Sitecore Developer Tool”
    Then go to Option->Option->Favorites and add the three linsk listd in ths blog.

    Page Path
    Developer Center /sitecore/shell/default.aspx?xmlcontrol=IDE
    XPath Builder /sitecore/shell/default.aspx?xmlcontrol=IDE.XPath.Builder
    File Explorer /sitecore/shell/default.aspx?xmlcontrol=FileExplorer

  8. ajshehan says:

    Quite useful. Thanks.

  9. Raghuveer Soma says:

    Nice job! Thanks for the tip!

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