Install Guide for Sitecore Experience Accelerator

17 November 2016

The purpose of this blog is to provide a guide on how to install Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA).  SXA is an additional product module offered by Sitecore to accelerate the implementation of your website.  SXA provides out of the box components, templates, and tools to quickly build a website potentially without the traditional development needed for a typical Sitecore project.

Prerequisites

To follow along the guide assumes you already have Sitecore running on a personal computer or server.  I specifically created this guide using Sitecore Experience Platform 8.2 rev. 160729 (8.2 Initial Release).  Sitecore requires you to be a certified developer or customer to download and use Sitecore.  Once you have an account you can download Sitecore from here: https://dev.sitecore.net/Downloads/Sitecore_Experience_Platform.aspx

SXA also requires your license file to be up to date and include provisions for SXA.  If you are a Sitecore partner you can request and download a new license at https://spn.sitecore.net. If you are a customer, contact your Sitecore sales representative about purchasing SXA.

Finally, SXA requires the Sitecore PowerShell extensions (available from the Marketplace)

·        Sitecore XP 8.1 – full 4.1 or later

·        Sitecore XP 8.2 – full 4.1 or later

Common Issues

Sitecore itself has a few prerequisites such as IIS, .NET Framework, SQL Server, and MongoDB.  One common issue I see from developers is not having MongoDB setup correctly and/or not having it started before installing Sitecore or installing a Sitecore package.  Remember to double check that you have MongoDB up and running before running any steps in this guide.  In some situations, you will just see a spinning box with no feedback that something is going wrong.

Installation Steps

·        Install Sitecore 8.2 by following the Installation Guide from the download site.  I’m going to install my instance locally and the URL will be http://demo

o   Note that SXA is compatible with Sitecore 8.1 Update-3 and 8.2.  Your experience may vary based on your specific version, but should be similar.

o   Use your valid Sitecore license.xml file provided by Sitecore if you are a customer or from spn.sitecore.net if you are a partner.  Remember you need SXA in your license.

·        Validate everything is working on your Sitecore instance. 

o   Go to http://demo/sitecore

o   Login with the admin account

o   Open the Content Editor

o   Find the “Home” item in the tree and view it in Experience Editor

o   Ensure you can change and publish the item

o   Check some of the other applications from the Sitecore Launchpad

·        Download Sitecore PowerShell extensions (available from the Marketplace)

o   I am using 4.2 for Sitecore 8 (Full 4.2 release for Sitecore 8)

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o   You will download a file named “Sitecore PowerShell Extensions-4.2 for Sitecore 8.zip”

·        Login to your Sitecore instance http://demo/sitecore

·        Click on the Control Panel

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·        Click on Install a package

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·        Click Upload package

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·        Click Upload package

·        Click Choose file

·        Find and select the “Sitecore PowerShell Extensions-4.2 for Sitecore 8.zip” file you downloaded earlier

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·        Click Next

·        Check the box Overwrite exiting files

·        Click Upload

·        Click Close

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·        Click Next (to actually install the package you just uploaded)

·        Click Next on the additional instructions screen

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·        Click Install

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·        Wait for this process to finish.  For me it took 1 minute 40 seconds to complete this step.  I have a pretty fast laptop with 16GB RAM and very fast SSD drives.  It may take 2-3 times longer on your computer or server.

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·        Click Close

·        Navigate back to the Launchpad

·        You should have a new icon on the page

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·        Click on that icon and Execute the script that is loaded.

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·        Next we are ready to install SXA!

·        Download Sitecore Experience Accelerator 1.1 for use with Experience Platform 8.2 from here: https://dev.sitecore.net/Downloads/Sitecore_Experience_Accelerator/11/Sitecore_Experience_Accelerator_11_Initial_Release.aspx

·        You will have downloaded a file named “Sitecore Experience Accelerator 1.1 rev. 161004 for 8.2.zip”

·        Go back to Launchpad->Control Panel->Install a package

·        Click Upload package

·        Click Choose File

·        Find and select the “Sitecore Experience Accelerator 1.1 rev. 161004 for 8.2.zip” file you downloaded earlier

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·        Click Next

·        Check the box Overwrite exiting files

·        Click Upload

·        Click Close

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·        Click Next

·        Accept the license agreement

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·        Click Next

·        Read the additional instructions

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