In November 2019, Sitecore released a new version 9.3.0, known as Sitecore Experience Platform (XP). This version majorly focuses on the feature upgrades. One such feature upgrade is SIA, also known as Sitecore Install Assistant.
In the earlier versions, the developers, new to the Sitecore platform often faced difficulty during the Sitecore environment setup and installation in their local environment. But now, with the release of Sitecore v9.3, it has become easy to install and setup the Sitecore environment with the help of SIA. When we download the Sitecore 9.3, it comes equipped with SIA – a GUI, which asks the user to enter various parameters like name of the website, SQL Admin Credentials, SOLR configuration information, etc. After taking all this information, SIA starts the processing and sets up the Sitecore environment on the user’s machine.
SIA guides the user throughout the installation process, starting from the reviewal of system requirements to the installation of pre-requisites. During the installation of Sitecore v9.3, we get an option where it asks us for the confirmation to install both the SOLR and the SXA module. Having this feature, the user does not need to worry about their installation afterward, as it used to be in previous versions.
So, if you are planning to install Sitecore 9.3, here’s the complete step by step guidelines for its installation and setup with SIA:
1. Downloading the Sitecore v9.3 installation files:
The Sitecore installation package can be downloaded from the Sitecore official developer site, using the link below (different packages are available on this link; the first two are having SIA with the respective package):
To set up a development environment, we use XP single package, if there’s no such need of using the XM Scaled up package.
Now, download the required package (referencing graphical setup package for XP Single for this post) and unzip the package at the desired path. It will show folder content, as depicted below, with all 23 files.
2. Check for pre-requisites
The Sitecore package contains an executable setup file for SIA. Run that in administrative mode and click Start.
It will check for the .Net framework first. We can directly use SIA if .Net framework 4.7.2 is already installed. If it is not installed prior, then this has to be installed; it can be downloaded from here. A system restart will be needed after this installation and proceeding further.
Other pre-requisites like Sitecore Install Framework (SIF) and Windows server requisites are installed automatically by SIA in the next step. We can also skip this installation if we have installed them already.
3. Configuration setup
Open the setup .exe config file in notepad or any other editor. This configuration file contains SOLR, SQL, and site information.
– SQL Server name
– SQL Server admin credentials
– Solr Windows Service name
– Solr Service Port number
– Solr server URL
– Solr root path
– Site Prefix, Suffix
We can update the configuration file, or else we can specify these settings at the time of installation as well.
If we have SOLR installed already or multiple versions of SOLR instances running on our system, then we can change the port number and provide other port in the configuration file at line number 14.
The SQL Server settings can be specified in the configuration file. We can also change site prefix and their suffixes if we want.
4. Running installation:
Continuing with the installation after pre-requisites check and installation of .Net framework 4.7.2 and SIF with Windows server requisites, now the next screen asks to provide SOLR configuration details.
4.1 SOLR installation
SOLR port will be taken from the configuration file set up in the earlier steps. Other details like windows service name and installation path need to be mentioned here.
– Windows service and path prefix is the name of windows service running for SOLR version 8.1.1.
– Install path is the complete path for the SOLR version 8.1.1 installation.
We can install SOLR from here, or if already installed, then this step can be skipped just by filling the required details.
After the successful installation of SOLR, the setup shows a success message, and we can check the SOLR implementation by browsing the URL in the browser.
4.2 Sitecore settings
In the next step, setup asks for below Sitecore settings
- Sitecore site prefix
- Admin password to access Sitecore CMS
- License file, a path for the Sitecore license file to be used for this setup
4.3 SQL Server settings:
The next step asks for SQL Server settings like MS SQL Server name, admin username, and password.
- If we are doing the installation using local SQL, then the predefined settings with the sa account will work; we just need to provide the password.
- Else if we are using any other SQL Server, then we need to provide the correct server name and admin credentials for the same.
4.4 SOLR configuration
If the setup installs SOLR, then we need to check these configuration values, no need to change anything. In the case of a manual SOLR setup, we need to make necessary changes in the configuration and click on next.
4.5 Installing SXA
The next step asks to check the Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) which is an optional module. We can decide whether to install SXA with this installation or not.
The next steps show the summary of the settings and configuration provided by us till now, before the actual installation starts.
If we find anything wrong, then we can go back and correct. When we proceed with the installation, it also validates the details and finds out that all requirements are in place for the installation to proceed.
Click Next to start the installation process
We can check the installation status by checking the logs, clicking on the down arrow.
If it shows “Everything is running smoothly,” it means we are good to go. After some time, the installation gets completed, and we can see the success message as below.
Click Next to see the final message.
Click Launch Sitecore to open the site, which is just set up by this installation.
Provide admin credentials to log in, and it will open the Sitecore CMS Panel.
Cheers! The site is up and running. 😊