Sitecore XP 9.3 Initial Release

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A guide to installing by Sitecore Install Assistant

Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) 9.3 was released late November 2019. In this blog, I will walk you through installing this release on your local on-premises development or testing environment.

The team at Sitecore have done a great work in documenting what is new in this release which I highly recommend you review as well.

Without further ado, I will now jump straight into installing a brand new instance of Sitecore XP 9.3

Sitecore® Experience Platform™ 9.3 focuses on product updates and enhancements that increase usability and improve performance – all centered around making it easier and faster to build digital experiences so brands can accelerate their time to value. The new editing environment offers an intuitive interface with everything a user needs for easy navigation as well as real-time contextual insights as content is created and published, giving marketers the knowledge they need to drive improved conversions.

Getting required downloads and installation package

  • Installation assets and guides available from dev.sitecore.net
  • Our download option is for On Premises deployment
  • We will be using Graphical setup package for XP Single option. Download this package to your computer. The package is a zip file named Sitecore 9.3.0 rev. 003498 (Setup XP0 Developer Workstation rev. 1.1.1-r4).zip

Extract the package and launch Sitecore Install Assistant (SIA)

  1. Ensure you “unblock” the zip package as shown in the screenshot 1 below
  2. Then extract the zip package to your working folder as shown in screenshot further below
Screenshot 1 - unblock the package before extracting the contents

Screenshot 1 – unblock the package before extracting the contents

Review prerequisites and requirements

Sitecore XP 9.3 supports the following database servers:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016 SP2 and 2017 – This is required if you are going to use SQL Server for the Experience Database (xDB).
  • MongoDB Server 4.0.5 – This is required if you are going to use MongoDB for the Experience Database (xDB) or as a Session State Provider.

SIA requires .NET Framework 4.7.2.

Install all the operating system updates.

Have a valid Sitecore license file

For a comprehensive guidance on the prerequisites and requirements, review the Quick Installation Guide for a Developer Workstation

Once ready, double click the setup.exe file below to launch the Sitecore Install Assistant

Screenshot showing extracted package for Sitecore 9.3.0 rev. 003498 (Setup XP0 Developer Workstation rev. 1.1.1-r4)

Screenshot showing extracted package for Sitecore 9.3.0 rev. 003498 (Setup XP0 Developer Workstation rev. 1.1.1-r4)

Running setup.exe should launch the Sitecore Install Assistance, which I will walk through step by step below

Sitecore Install Assistant step by step

1.1 SIA-start-page

Click on Start button to advance to the Prerequisites screen

SIA prerequisites screen

SIA prerequisites screen

This step will install the correct version of Sitecore Install Framework (SIF) and Windows Server prerequisites needed for Sitecore XP 9.3. Note if you already have SIF and Windows server prerequisites, you can skip this step

1.3 SIA-prereqs-installing

1.4 SIA-prereqs-install-complete

Once prerequisites are successfully installed, advance to the next screen to install Solr 8.1.1

1.5 SIA-install-solr

Sitecore xP 9.3 requires Solr 8.1.1 search service. On this screen, specify the Solr port, Windows Service and Install path and then click install. If Solr 8.1.1 is already installed, you can skip this step by clicking on the Skip button.

1.6 SIA-install-solr-inprogress

SIA Solr 8.1.1 installing

1.7 SIA-install-solr-complete

SIA Solr 8.1.1 install complete

You can verify Solr 8.1.1 is successfully installed and running at this point by accessing the URL https://localhost:8983/solr/#/ (please note the port number configured in previous screen). You should see a page similar to one below

1.8 SIA-solr-instance-running

Solr 8.1.1 portal up and running

Once Solr 8.1.1 is successfully installed, advance to next screen to configure Sitecore Settings

1.9 SIA-sitecore-settings

  • Installation/solution prefix – specify a prefix to be added to names of Sitecore instance, SQL databases and Solr cores
  • Sitecore admin password – specify a strong password for Sitecore instance admin account
  • Sitecore license file – specify the full path including the filename for your license file
  • Click next to advance to SQL Server settings screen

1.10 SIA-sql-server-settings

Specify the name of the SQL Server instance, the admin user (sa) and admin user password. Then click Next to advance to Solr settings screen

1.11 SIA-solr-settings

SIA Solr 8.1.1 settings

On this screen enter the Solr 8.1.1 setting

  • Solr service URL – should be https://localhost:8983/solr (note the port number if different)
  • Solr file system root – enter your the path to Solr 8.1.1 you installed previously
  • Solr Windows Service name – enter the Solr windows service name configured previously
  • Click Next to advance to next screen for Optional modules

1.12 SIA-optional-modules

You can skip Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) as we don’t need it in this case

1.13 SIA-summary

The summary screen showing list of the settings you specified. Allows you to verify everything is correct, if not use the Back button to go back and edit them. Once happy click on Next button to advance to Validate screen

1.14 SIA-validate

The installer validates you have

  • Sitecore license file
  • SIF configuration files
  • WDP files

Once validated you should see green ticks against each item, then click Install to initial the install process

1.15 SIA-install-progress

The installation may take about 15-30 minutes depending how quickly the install operations execute on your system

1.16 SIA-install-complete

If everything goes to plan, you will see the installation completed message. Then click Next to advance to Installation completed screen, with a link to Launch Sitecore

1.17 SIA-launch-sitecore

Post Install Notes

SIA graphical setup tool was introduced in Sitecore XP 9.2 It is nice to see some impovements to this tool, such as optional installation of Solr and SXA.

I hope this guide here gives you motivation to go and try this on your own.

Once again, visit Sitecore XP 9.3 Release Notes page for a full list of hightlights, new features or impovements, any deprecated features among others

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