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After working through some of the initial shock of the new install process, I took to some tinkering.  What I came up with was something I dubbed SIF-less. It’s a little less SIF than a standard SC9 install takes.  That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with SIF. It’s an amazing framework.  It is a step forward in powerful Infrastructure as Code.  There are days I get up though, that I just don’t want to powershell all the things.

So what does it do?

Everyone knows the SIM tool. It’s a great tool. It takes all the guesswork out of Sitecore Installs.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with Sitecore 9 at the moment. It’s under works, I hear, but I’ve not seen an update to handle some of the more intense setup of Sitecore 9.

What does it look like?

There are two modes to SIF-less. There’s the Hardcore Mode, and the EZ Mode.

Hardcore Mode

One of the smaller files

This mode is really for the power users.  You point SIF-less at a single JSON config file and it will unwrap all the parameters, let you set the values, and then run the config through SIF.  All without having to leave the app.  Again, this is more for power users than a standalone setup.

EZ Mode

EZ Mode is pretty EZ

This mode feels a lot more like the SIM tool.  Looking at the EZ Mode tab, you’ll see a short list of variables including license file location, config path, etc.  Set these values and then you have the option to Test or Install. When you click the Test button, you’ll see a window display that actually tests your system based off the settings you provided. Does the license exist, are there configs where you say they are, is solr setup.  If you get all greens here, you’ve got a higher chance of things going right, rather than ending up through a half-install and working your way back out.

Test Mode – All Passed!

Hitting the Install button will do two or three things:

  1. Generate an install script. This ps1 can be run without parameters (it saves the ones you setup into the file) to do a full Sitecore 9 install.
  2. Generate an uninstall script. This ps1 can be run to remove the entire instance of Sitecore 9 with the parameters you used.  The only exception is the Certificates, which I’m hesitant to auto-remove.  (Feels scary)
  3. (Optional) run the install script. If you uncheck the “Generate File Only” box, a text window will show up and the install will kick off.  For a time comparison, my laptop takes about 10 minutes of intense work to install Sitecore 9.

One install, one Uninstall. With a Unix Timestamp. From C#. What a time to be alive.

How do I use it?

SIF-less requires you to have the prerequesites installed before you get going. This includes Solr 6.6.2, SQL 2016, Powershell 5, WebDeploy 3.6 and SIF.  With those installed, you’re ready to go. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Download the latest version here: https://bitbucket.org/RAhnemann/sif-less/downloads/SIFLess.zip
  2. Download the Uninstall Scripts here: https://bitbucket.org/RAhnemann/sif-less/downloads/Scripts.zip
  3. Unzip the file from the above step into the same folder you have your JSON configuration (same place as sitecore-xp0.json).  Note: The ps1 files (Modules) should be in the same folder your Install/Uninstall PS1 files. 
  4. Run SIF-less and fill in all the variables
  5. Test, then hit Install.
  6. If you only generated the files, you need to open up powershell (in admin mode!) and run it.
  7. If you didn’t, you should see powershell output going by.
  8. Wait a little.
  9. View your nice new Sitecore 9 site.

How can I help?

Great question.  SIF-less is 100% open source and ready for forking.  Go check it out on bitbucket: https://bitbucket.org/RAhnemann/sif-less/overview. Notice any bugs? Drop me a line here or in the #sif channel on the official slack.

Update 11/1/2017 @ 4pm CST – Clarfied Step 3 for location of JSON vs PS1 files