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Justin Long // ExpressionEngine Expert

MX Tool Box - Series Ramp Up

Written by: Justin Long | On: January 19, 2011

Whenever you start a new site for a client there are always some of the same things that you need to do. I personally have a default install of add-ons and settings that I like to start with to speed up the process. A few months back I was working on a very large site with multiple developers and content authors. This brought a few challenges when it came to creating things on the live site, we were all working remotely from each other while at the same time content authors were adding content to the live site so we were not able to just do a simple dump of the database and import it into the live site. I would have to create custom field groups and channels on my local machine and test the functionality. I would then need to replicate the fields that I created on the live site and then save the templates so that they would be updated. This was time consuming to say the least and not the ideal approach but it worked.

Fast forward to last week and through some random Devot-ee searching I stumbled upon an add-on called MX Tool Box that offers a few great features for developers. The 2 features that I was most intrigued by was the Custom Field Import and Export which allow you to do just that import and export your custom fields. So I installed it on my site and started testing it out, I ran into a few PHP errors at first due to me not thinking the process though. It was trying to add custom fields with the same field name as fields that were already in the DB. So I fire up one of my dev sites on my local machine. Install MX Tool Box and copy and paste the import code and sure enough it works without a hitch.

I have been very impressed with MX Tool Box and I recommend it any dev that can't simply dump a DB and import it. Go download it now you wont regret it.

This brings me to the "Ramp Up" part of this post. I am currently working on an in-depth blog series that involves a lot of custom fields (a few hours of entering fields) but I will also be including a plain text file that will have the import scripts for you to automatically create the custom fields if you are using MX Tool Box. Which I hope will help you follow along.

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