Installation of Sitecore Experience Platform using web platform installer (.exe)

What is Sitecore?

Sitecore is an enterprise level web content management and is built on the ASP.NET technology which provides a platform for content management and marketing teams needs to store, manage, analyze and update website content in a single unified solution. Sitecore WCM brings the power of personalization and conversation management right in the hands of marketers and business users. After initial development of a website, the management ownership of website is given to the marketing team to create content, forms and articles and measure the value of the content throughout its life cycle. On the Top of website design tools, Sitecore also offers e-commerce solutions, enabling the site owners to turn their page into a fully functioning, fully-supported e-store.

                     sitecoredemo

Sitecore is a well known in the Web Content Management (WCM) community as a leader in content management with the following benefits.

  • Highly Scalable, flexible and Security (using configurations).
  • The time spent on managing content and documents is reduced.
  • Allowed non-technical people to manage documents directly, and freeing up technical resources to focus more on development.
  • Easy to use for content editors and highly flexible and fully featured for developers.
  • Easily integrate with the Third party tools.
  • Improved SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques.
  • Social media integration.
  • Repurpose content for Multi devices.
  • Targeted content based on user behavior (Personalization).
  • Multi-site and multi-lingual configurations.
  • Integrated with Online Marketing Suite (OMS) means that multivariate testing, user profiling, analytics/reporting etc.
  • Workflows support.
  • In-depth API support for developing custom solutions.

What is Sitecore Experience Platform (Sitecore XP)?

Sitecore Experience Platform (Sitecore XP) is a combination with Sitecore CMS and Sitecore xDB. Sitecore CMS provides the content management capabilities and Sitecore xDB provides the marketing experience and analytics features.

Prerequisites :-

  • Appropriate Sitecore LicenseUnfortunately, not every individual developer could get a valid Sitecore License. You need to be either a Sitecore partner or you should have purchased Sitecore license which is very expensive for regular developers to afford.
  • Hosting Environment requirements:-
    • IIS  – v7.0 or later
    • OS – Windows 7 or later ( Work Station ),
    • Windows Server 2008 SP2 or later ( Windows server )
    • Framework –  .NET v 4.5
    • Database – SQL SERVER 2008 R2 SP1 or later , MongoDB 2.x.x or later ( for Sitecore xDB )

Note: Sitecore xDB might require Silverlight and Adobe flash player for designing the reports based on our requirements .

  • Client Environment requirement:-
  • Browser – IE 9 or later, Chrome 25+, Firefox 17+, Safari 6
  • Administrative permissions to the computers and database because the installation undergo in location “C:/inetpub/wwwroot/” and in database server.

Sitecore XP could be installed in the following ways.

  • Sitecore Web Installer (well known as .EXE method)
  • Sitecore Instance Manager (SIM)
  • Manual Installation

This article focuses on installing the Sitecore XP using Sitecore Web Installer.EXE method.

Installation of Sitecore XP using Sitecore Web Installer (.EXE) method :

To start the installation, you need the Sitecore.8.x rev.xxxxxx.exe file which could be downloaded from  https://dev.sitecore.net/Downloads/Sitecore_Experience_Platform/82/Sitecore_Experience_Platform_82_Update2.aspx  .

When you go through the above link you can see the Download options.

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Under the  resource column you need to select the highlighted option shown in the above screen capture to downloaded the Sitecore Installer. Please note that only Sitecore Certified developers will be able to download this file.

The downloaded zip file will look like this. sitecore2

This is all what we need for creating the Sitecore instance with License.

By executing the exe file, it will starts the installation wizard and this will guide the installation process.

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Click on Next button to navigate to the “Add or Remove a Sitecore Instance” step as shown in the below screenshot.  

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Select the New Instance option in the above step and click on the Next button to navigate to the “License Agreement” step as shown below.

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Read the license agreement carefully and click on Next button to navigate to the “Installation Type” step where you would be prompted to select the the type of installation.  

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Installation could be done in the following three types.
Complete – It will install both the client and databases
Database –  It will install only the databases (this method is mostly used if you would like to have the databases in a separate server)
Client Only-  It will Install everything except the Databases

After selecting the Installation type click on Next.

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Please provide the Instance name in the above step. I have named my instance as SitecoreBasicDemo. You might have to provide your Project Name while naming the instance and observe the highlighted area. Click on Next 

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Select the Sitecore License file path and then click on next 

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  1. As of this writing, Sitecore supports both Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle database systems. Please chose the database vendor based on your requirements. For this example, I have selected SQL Server as the database vendor

Please note that the SQL Server Credentials should be of mixed mode.

  1. By default the Database file names are prefixed with  Sitecore Instance name, we can customize the name by using Advanced Button.

By clicking the Advanced button the below dialog box will open

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In the Advanced Database Options step, we can change/remove the database file name to match the requirements.

Note: Sitecore doesn’t allow us to install databases in a remote server in the Complete Installation type. If you try to provide the name of a Remote Server in the Database Server field of the Database Server step, you would get an error as shown below.

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Click on Next to navigate to the Designation Folder step as shown below

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Please provide the location where you would like to install the Sitecore instance. Below are the components that gets installed.

  • Sitecore Website
  • Databases
  • Data (Log files are stored here)

Click on the Advanced button to change the location of the Data & Database files as shown below.sitecore13

Click on Next button in the Destination folder step to navigate to the IIS Web Site step where you can change the name of the Website as shown below.

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Clicking on the Advanced button would open the following IIS Advanced Settings window shown below where you can change the name of the Application Pool and the port.

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As shown in the above step, the default port for the website is 80. Click OK to save the changes of the above step.

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Review the changes in the above IIS Web Site step and Click on the Next button.

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Please review all the options and the values in the above Ready to install Sitecore step and click on Install to start the installation process.

Once the installation is complete, you can Browse and navigate to the website by using your favorite browser with the following url.

http://sitecorebasicdemo

Below is the screenshot of the Sitecore application.

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Summary:

In this article we have learnt the following.

  • A Brief introduction about Sitecore Web Content Management Platform.
  • Few of the benefits of using the Sitecore Platform
  • Prerequisites for installation of the Sitecore Experience platform
  • Different ways of installing the Sitecore Experience Platform
  • Step by Step details of installing the Sitecore Experience Platform using the Sitecore Installer (.exe)

References:

SDN – https://sdn.sitecore.net/
Sitecore XP – https://dev.Sitecore.net
Sitecore Docs – https://doc.Sitecore.net
Knowledge Base –  https://kb.Sitecore.net
Market Place – https://marketplace.Sitecore.net
Technical solutions –  https://community.sitecore.net/developers/f/8