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At Velir, we're experienced in upgrading Sitecore for our clients. But these Sitecore upgrades often need custom solutions based on our clients’ unique Sitecore setups. This has allowed us to get to know the upgrade process and its documentation even better. Sitecore offers documentation for developers on upgrading, although we’ve found gaps in it, including Azure, Solr, and SQL. We recently shared our guide to Sitecore 9.3 architecture and Azure installation to start filling those gaps for anyone who wants to tweak an out-of-the-box Sitecore system.

During the client upgrade to Sitecore 9.3 we talked about in our previous post, we faced issues with indexing. After talking with SearchStax support, we received advice to update Solr to 8.2.0 in SearchStax. To successfully manage changes to Solr there’s several parts you should be aware of. Here’s what you need to know.

Get help with your Sitecore Solr upgrade. Learn about our Sitecore experience.

We’ll ensure a smooth transition to the latest version of Solr, so you can take advantage of all the latest features for your Sitecore website. 

There are six locations connection strings for Solr live:

  • CD
    • App_Config/ConnectionStrings.config 
  • CM 
    • App_Config/ConnectionStrings.config 
  • Processing 
    • App_Config/ConnectionStrings.config 
  • xConnect Collection 
    • App_Config/ConnectionStrings.config 
  • xConnect Search 
    • App_Config/ConnectionStrings.config 
    • App_Data/jobs/continuous/IndexWorker/App_Config/ConnectionStrings.config 

There are also two types of connection strings: 

  • CM/CD Connection Strings 
    • Name: solr.search 
    • Value: https://<SolrServerName>/solr/;solrCloud=true 
  • xConnect Connection Strings 
    • Name: solrCore 
    • Value: https://<SolrServerName>/solr/xdb 

To rebuild the xConnect xDB core you can’t use the indexing user interface from within the CM instance. Instead, you must initiate the indexing from the xConnect app service. You need to follow the directions listed below but beware that the name of the service has changed from older versions of the executable. So instead of running the command “XConnectSearchIndexer -rr” you’ll want to run the command “Sitecore.XConnectSearchIndexer -rr”. The full documentation can be found on Sitecore's website

Managed Schemas 

When creating Solr cores it’s important to know that there are two types of managed schema configurations you need to use:  

Sitecore: Further documentation can be found on Sitecore's website
xDB: Further documentation can be found on Sitecore's website

All cores use the Sitecore configuration—except for the xDB core. That’s the only one that is different.  

If you’re working with Solr Cloud and you want to use ‘SwitchOnRebuild’ you need to configure aliases. 

  • List aliases: https://<SolrServerName>/solr/admin/collections?action=LISTALIASES
  • View cluster status: https://<SolrServerName>/solr/admin/collections?action=CLUSTERSTATUS

Full documentation for core aliases can be found on Sitecore's website

There’s more to Sitecore 9.3 architecture—we’ll be publishing our guide to Azure SQL management and connections later this summer. 

Learn more about our Sitecore expertise or contact us to learn how we can help with your next Sitecore upgrade or project. 

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