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November 30, 2019 / kiranpatils

SearchStax with Sitecore Azure PaaS

Challenge:

Sometime back, we were trying to integrate SearchStax with Sitecore 91 PaaS environment.

I got some good documentation to begin with. But it took me sometime to accomplish my goal. With the help of SearchStax team [They are great!] was able to achieve my goal.

Recently came across similar question by someone in Sitecore Slack group. So, thought to blog it here.

Solution:

This post assumes, that you are already aware about SearchStax – Basics and how to get started, Solr, SolrCloud basics.

As you do, I also did quick search and came across following great posts!

Initial posts clarified lot of my basic fundamentals, Last post : https://www.searchstax.com/docs/sitecore-9-1-solr/ is really good. But If you are trying to do it for your Sitecore Azure PaaS environment. You need to alter some steps and I also faced some errors. Let me outline that for you:

  • You no need to do Step#1.
  • Do Step#2.
  • Step#3 : SearchStax team has created nice plugin, which helps you create all initial required collections — Basically, Plugin abstracts zookeeper config upload steps:
    • Instead of using searchstax-sitecore-plugin-1.0 use 1.1. As we found bug in 1.0. Use 1.1 from here : https://github.com/searchstax/searchstax-sitecore-plugin/releases or direct link https://github.com/searchstax/searchstax-sitecore-plugin/releases/tag/v1.1
    • Script relies on PowerShell core. To start PowerShell Core – you need to type pwsh.exe in CMD/Powershell – See this video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGCMbYAufp0
    • Extract downloaded plugin and update YML file as per given instruction. [pathToWWWRoot : Is not important in Azure PaaS. But still you have to provide it and sitecorePrefix (Will be used to prefix your Solr collection/cores.) also should be valid site. Plugin will update config files. So, you might need to take backup of local file – ConnectionStrings.Config]
    • Run this from CMD/Powershell. Make sure you are in PowerShell Core. It will also ask your SearchStax credentials. So, please keep them handy!
  • Once above step is done, your Solr collections are ready. You can access Solr Admin screen to confirm that (You should see 11 collections). It also updates Solr Connection string in your local. Please revert those changes to your local Solr instance. [We took backup in earlier step]

Note : It doesn’t create XDB Core. https://doc.sitecore.com/developers/90/platform-administration-and-architecture/en/walkthrough–using-solrcloud-for-xconnect-search.html#UUID-00ee25a3-647f-aa18-6f98-805fa4f305de_section-5c3ef326406c3-idm45266705934112– As of now you have to create manually or update scripts to do that.

  • Till this point of time we have setup our Solr Cloud instance. Now. let’s connect it with our Sitecore Instance.
  • Once all above steps are done, Login to your Sitecore instance and from Control Panel – Do “Populate Schema from the Control Panel in Sitecore” step.

This post depicts steps with Sitecore 9.1. But I believe it should work with 9.2 https://www.searchstax.com/docs/sitecore-9-2-solr/ as well. I’m not sure Search Stax Plugin issue is fixed in 9.2 document or not. Also, I heard Search Stax is coming up with Sitecore LaunchPad Plugin (https://sitecorebasics.wordpress.com/2019/11/30/searchstax-with-sitecore-paas/) to simplify these steps. I’m sure you must be excited to try this. So, as I!

Hope you found this post helpful – Big Shout out to SearchStax team for coming up with such a great solution.

Image Credits : SearchStax

4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Sameer Maggon / Dec 4 2019 10:57 pm

    Thanks Kiran for a great blog post! I appreciate you putting this together for the community! Please let us know how we can make life easier with SearchStax and Sitecore!

    • kiranpatils / Dec 7 2019 8:15 am

      Thanks @maggon!
      It will be good to have:
      1. xDB Indexes also part of plugin
      2. Plugin to migrate from Azure Search to Solr [Lot of folks move to Azure Search initially and then realize challenges] also automatically updating Azure PaaS config using KUDU API.

  2. Karan Jeet Singh / Dec 4 2019 11:23 pm

    Great article! Thank you for the shout-out to SearchStax.
    We will be releasing an updated version of the plugin soon, that can be used in a partial way so that it doesn’t mess up your local Sitecore installation when you are trying to set up the Azure PaaS version of Sitecore.

    • kiranpatils / Dec 7 2019 8:15 am

      Thanks Karan – Sounds great!

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