Making Solr Setup in Sitecore Easier
You probably already know that SearchStax makes it easy to deploy, manage and scale highly available Solr. To better support the Sitecore community, we introduced the Sitecore Solr Plugin to make connecting Solr to Sitecore deployments equally easy. Today, we are announcing further enhancements to the Plugin to support Solr setup on:
- Sitecore 9.3
- Sitecore Commerce 9.3
- xConnect Support, including xDB and xDB Rebuild Index
The Current Approach to Setting Up Solr in Sitecore is Challenging
Making two applications talk to each other is always an adventure and that challenge becomes even more difficult when users have to configure the two applications to work together by themselves.
For example, to configure Sitecore to pair with Solr, a user generally needs to do the following:
- Read through a bunch of technical documentation
- Go through various config files to understand what needs to be configured at the Solr end
- Create and upload the config files to Solr
- Create collections with names that exactly match what Sitecore is expecting
- Configure SSL on Solr so that Sitecore doesn’t reject the communication
And then pray to the networking overlords that all of it will work together and that you didn’t miss a step or mistype a filename.
Doing all of this might still work and would be somewhat manageable if both Sitecore and Solr are running on the same machine. To create resilient and high availability production environments, you will inevitably want to move Sitecore and Solr to separate machines and convert Solr into a cluster so that it can cope up with the high demands of Sitecore.
Moving Solr to a cluster complicates the challenge as you’ll have to do a number of things to make it work. In a Solr cluster environment, you would also have to: change the config files of Sitecore, manage the Solr cluster, make sure all the collections are highly available and deploy a load balancer to handle the traffic to the cluster.
What Does the Sitecore Solr Plugin Do?
The Sitecore Solr Plugin automates a number of manual tasks and could save you up to a half-day of effort:
- Checks the connectivity between Sitecore and Solr running on SearchStax
- Uploads config files to the Solr deployment
- Determines if the Solr is running on a single node, or if it’s a multi-node cluster.
- Creates appropriate collections in Solr
- Configures collections for redundancy and high-availability if it detects Solr is running as a cluster
- Creates aliases for XDB collections
- Updates the config files in Sitecore to make sure it is able to communicate with the Solr.
This Plugin takes the challenge out of configuring Sitecore and Solr which will save you time and energy that you can focus on developing better search experiences for your customers.
How Easy is it to Configure the Sitecore Solr Plugin?
Configuring and executing the SearchStax Sitecore Plugin is as easy as filling up a simple form and then hitting the return key.
The fields and information for the Plugin configuration file include:
After completing the information on the form, the Sitecore Solr Plugin takes over and gets to work. In less than 2 minutes, the Plugin configures both Sitecore and Solr – and saves your team a lot of time and hassle.
Watch our 1-minute video overview to see the Sitecore Solr Plugin in action:
What Are the Versions and Limitations of the Plugin?
The Sitecore Solr Plugin currently supports following versions of Sitecore:
|Sitecore Version||Sitecore XP||Sitecore XConnect||Sitecore Commerce|
|9.2 Initial Update||✓||✓||✓|
|9.3 Initial Update||✓||✓||✓|
The Sitecore Solr Plugin definitely solves a lot of problems, but currently has two limitations as it does not support Sitecore SXA or SwitchOnRebuild for Sitecore XP.
The Sitecore Solr Plugin is Community Driven
SearchStax wants to empower and support the Sitecore community by making Solr easier to install and manage on the Sitecore platform – and these further enhancements to the Plugin takes us a positive step in that direction.
The Sitecore Solr Plugin is open source and is publicly available for download on GitHub.
With the support of the Sitecore and Github community, we plan to update and add new features to the Sitecore Solr Plugin in the future. Please join in the discussion and let us know what updates you’d like to see in the future versions.