Sitecore and Solr -- How to Integrate Apache Solr with Sitecore 10.0 using SearchStax


Overview

SearchStax® can be used to enable Apache Solr on a Sitecore 10.0 website.

This page demonstrates how easy it is to connect Sitecore to a SearchStax Solr cluster. SearchStax has created a PowerShell Core script that automates the steps of preparing Solr for Sitecore integration. This script is available to SearchStax clients free of charge from our Github site.

Contents:

  1. Install Sitecore 10.0 without Solr
  2. Create a New Deployment in SearchStax.
  3. Run the SearchStax Sitecore Plugin.
  4. Populate Schema from the Control Panel in Sitecore.
  5. Problems?

Install Sitecore 10.0 without Solr

Windows 10 Required

Note that a stand-alone installation of Sitecore 10.0 requires a Windows 10 computer. Other prerequisites may be found in the Sitecore installation documents.

Sitecore Optimization

When using Solr as the search provider for Sitecore, there are a variety of Sitecore settings that can be tuned to improve performance. See Performance Optimizations when using Solr.

This section describes how to install Sitecore 10.0 locally without Solr. We'll connect it to a SearchStax Solr deployment in a subsequent step.

  1. Visit the Sitecore Experience Platform 10.0 Initial Release page. Under Download Options for On Premises Deployment, download Packages for XP Single.

    SearchStax Solr Sitecore

    Farther down the same web page, under Release Information, download the Quick Installation Guide for a Developer Workstation.

    SearchStax Solr Sitecore
  2. With the exception of Solr, install all the prerequisite sub-components as mentioned in the installation guide.

  3. Make the following changes in the configuration files.
    1. XP0-SingleDeveloper.ps1: Change the $Prefix to "Sitecore10".
      SearchStax Solr Sitecore
      Comment out or delete the Solr root and service details:
      SearchStax Solr SitecoreSearchStax Solr Sitecore
    2. XP0-SingleDeveloper.json: Comment out or remove the XConnectSolr and SitecoreSolr "includes:"
      SearchStax Solr Sitecore
    3. sitecore-XP0.json: Comment out or remove the UpdateSolrSchema task:
      SearchStax Solr Sitecore
    4. xconnect-xp0.json: Comment out or remove the ConfigureSolrSchemas task.
      SearchStax Solr Sitecore
  4. Once all the above changes have been made, go ahead with the Sitecore installation by running the PowerShell script .\XP0-SingleDeveloper.ps1 as recommended in the Sitecore installation guide.
    SearchStax Solr Sitecore

Create a New Deployment in SearchStax

Assuming you have already created a SearchStax account and do not already have a deployment set up, click on the Cloud Manager tab and then click on the Create Deployment button at the top. Enter a deployment name, and select the most appropriate provider, region, plan, and Solr version for your needs. SearchStax Solr Sitecore

Cloud Provider

A self-managed Sitecore project may use any of our cloud providers for the Solr deployment.

Single Node or Cluster

Sitecore will work with a single-node deployment (the "NDN" series of SearchStax deployments) for purposes of testing and evaluation. However, a production system requires a SearchStax cluster (the "NDC" series) to provide high-availability and failover features.

Sitecore/Solr Compatibility

Sitecore 10.0 is known to be compatible with Solr 8.4.0. Other combinations may or may not work. See Sitecore's Solr Compatibility Table for further information.

Once you create your deployment, you will see it in the Solr Deployments dashboard.
SearchStax Solr Sitecore
Clicking on the name of the deployment gives you pertinent information about your deployment's servers. The Solr HTTP Endpoint takes you to your Solr server dashboard.

Run the SearchStax Sitecore Plugin

This script is used to connect a Sitecore XP0 installation to a SearchStax Solr instance.

Run the Plugin on the Sitecore Computer

The SearchStax Sitecore Plugin must be run on the same Windows computer as your Sitecore instance.

Account Owner, Admin, or Technical Contact

To run the SearchStax Sitecore Plugin, you must be the account Owner, an account Admin, or a Technical Contact. See SearchStax User Roles.

The script automates the following parts of the procedure:

Download the Plugin

The first step is to visit the SearchStax Github site and download the latest SearchStax Sitecore Plugin zip file.

Unzip the file to a convenient location. This creates the searchstax-sitecore-plugin-x.y directory.

Install PowerShell Core and Yaml Module

PowerShell Core is the open-source version of PowerShell. It has special capabilities that are required by the SearchStax Sitecore Plugin.

We assume you are on a Windows 10 computer. Open PowerShell, and install PowerShell Core 6 using the following command:

Windows PowerShell:

> iex "& { $(irm https://aka.ms/install-powershell.ps1) } -UseMSI"

Exit Powershell and start Powershell Core as the Administrator. Now install the powershell-yaml module:

Windows PowerShell Core:

> Install-Module powershell-yaml

Edit Plugin Configuration

Edit the config.yml file in the searchstax-sitecore-plugin-x.y directory. The entries take the form shown below. The plugin will ignore any values that it doesn't need as determined by the configurationMode value. For instance, if you are installing Sitecore 10.0 only, it will ignore commerceServicesPostfix and isXCSwitchOnRebuild, which are "Commerce only" parameters. Also, note the required indentation, which is two spaces under the "settings" header, and four spaces under the "Commerce" header.

settings:
  accountName: "SearchStaxAccount"
  deploymentUid: "ss881269"
  sitecorePrefix: "sitecore"
  pathToWWWRoot: "C:\\inetpub\\wwwroot"
  solrUsername: ""
  solrPassword: ""
  sitecoreVersion : "10.0.0" 
  isUniqueConfigs : "true"
  configurationMode : "XP"
  commerce:
    commerceServicesPostfix : "Sc10"
    isXCSwitchOnRebuild : "true"
Name Description Example
accountName
required
string
Name of the SearchStax account "ABCInternational"
deploymentUid
required
string
UID of the SearchStax deployment to connect to "ss123456"
sitecorePrefix
required for Sitecore, XConnect
string
Prefix of the sitecore installation "sitecore"
pathToWWWRoot
required
string
Path to wwwroot folder in inetpub, i.e. your %IIS_SITE_HOME% variable "C:\inetpub\wwwroot"
solrUsername
optional
string
Solr Basic Auth username "username"
solrPassword
optional
string
Solr Basic Auth password "password"
sitecoreVersion
required
string
Version of Sitecore "10.0.0"
isUniqueConfigs
required for Sitecore
string
Switch between one config for all collections ("true"), and a unique config for each ("false"). (See below.) "true"
configurationMode
required
string
"XP" means to set up Sitecore only. "COMMERCE" means to set up for Sitecore Commerce. "XCONNECT" means to set up for XConnect analytics. "XP|COMMERCE|XCONNECT" means all three at once. All implied combinations are supported. "XP"
commerceServicesPostfix
required for Commerce
string
Suffix used for Sitecore Commerce installation. "Sc10"
isXCSwitchOnRebuild
required for Commerce
string
Whether Sitecore Commerce has been configured to use the Switch On Rebuild feature (v9.3.0 and above). "true" or "false"

When isUniqueConfigs is false, the script creates only one set of config files, and use that set for all of the Sitecore collections. The name of the config set is sitecore_<sitecorePrefix>. Example: sitecore_sitecore100.

When isUniqueConfigs is true (the default), the script creates a set of config files corresponding to each separate Sitecore collection. This lets Sitecore properly populate the schemas of the various collections. These configsets are named <sitecorePrefix>_<collectionName>. Example: sitecore100_core_index.

Run the SearchStax Sitecore Plugin

From Powershell Core, run as Administrator, navigate to the searchstax-sitecore-plugin-x.y directory.

Change the execution policy to skip checking.

Windows Powershell Core:

Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope Process -ExecutionPolicy Bypass

Run the sitecore-searchstax-connector.ps1 script.

Windows Powershell Core:

> .\sitecore-searchstax-connector.ps1

The script will prompt you for your SearchStax user name and password. The script may take a few minutes to run, during which it will notify you of its actions.

Populate Schema from the Control Panel in Sitecore

Follow these steps to populate the Solr schema:

  1. Log in to the Sitecore Content Management environment.
  2. Open the Sitecore Control Panel.
  3. In the Indexing tab, click Populate Solr Managed Schema.
  4. Select all indexes and click Populate.
  5. On the same page, go to the Indexing Manager, select all, and click Rebuild.

Sitecore Solr SearchStax schemas
Sitecore Solr SearchStax schemas

Problems?

See Sitecore Problems with SolrCloud for a list of the most-common issues that arise when connecting Sitecore to your SolrCloud deployment.

Questions?

Do not hesitate to contact the SearchStax Support Desk.