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Contensis search installation

The Contensis search uses Elasticsearch at its core. Elasticsearch is a highly scalable open-source full-text search and analytics engine. It allows you to store, search, and analyze large volumes of data quickly and in near real time.

Elasticsearch can be installed on Microsoft Windows or Linux. The Contensis installer can be used to install Elasticsearch on Windows, if you want to install Elasticsearch on Linux you will need to download the installer and follow the installation guide published by Elastic.

The first thing you need to consider when installing Elasticsearch is how many nodes you want in your cluster. You can have as little as one server but is advisable to run a minimum of two nodes in your cluster so that in the event that one server went down your search data would still be accessible.


Before installing Elasticsearch you will need to make sure:

The data stored in Elasticsearch is not secured with a username or password. Put simply, if someone can access your Elasticsearch cluster on port 9200 they can access your search data. It is intended that the security is provided by placing the Elasticsearch behind a firewall/proxy layer and only allowing access to the server on port 9200 to the CMS server and any other Elasticsearch nodes.

Install process

Regardless of how many nodes you want to install the process is the same. You simply need to repeat it on each server.

Install the Contensis install manager

You can get a copy of the Install Manager from our downloads page. This is a standard Windows installer package (MSI) which you just need to run. There are two configurable options.

  1. The location where the install manager will be installed.
  2. Whether the install manager should be available to all users or just the current one.

Once the install has finished the Contensis install manager will be launched. If you need to run this again later it can be launched from Start Menu > Program Files > Contensis > Contensis Install Manager.

Choose installation type

You must select whether this is going to be a fresh installation of the Contensis search or whether you are upgrading an existing install.

Specify your CMS URL

If you are installing a new instance of the Contensis search then you will be asked to provide the URL of the main CMS application. If upgrading, you will be asked to select the instance to upgrade from a dropdown menu of available installations.

Choose the components to install

The installer allows parts of a Contensis instance to be installed or upgraded independently. In this case we are installing the Contensis search, so deselect all other options.

Database connection details

Next, you need to provide the details to your database server. You'll need to provide the database server name, database name and user name and password for the user to connect to the database.

User interface path

Enter the path where you want the Contensis search data files to be located. If the folder doesn't exist the installer will create it for you.

Contensis search

This step enables you to specify the host name or IP address of the server that Contensis search is being installed on. The installer will automatically populate this field with the IP address of the server, but allows you the opportunity to change it if required.

This setting can be changed in the CMS after install by editing the Elastic_Instances global setting.

Silent install

By default, the Install automatically check box is selected. This installs the prerequisite software silently, without prompting you for additional details during the installation process.

If however you wish to select the installation options for the prerequisite software yourself (e.g. install folder), then just untick this box.

License key and install

Now you need to enter your Contensis license key. Information about your licence key can be found on the licensing page. You can now run the install or upgrade process. You will see a green progress bar which should give you an idea on how long the process will take in total.

View results and confirmation

The log of the installation will be displayed on the next step, this can be copied and pasted to include in emails etc. It is important to review this to ensure no errors have been reported. If you are happy with everything you can then click through to the next screen where you will be shown a confirmation screen.

Elasticsearch HQ

As part of the Elasticsearch installation we also install Elastic HQ, you can access the plugin by navigating to The Elastic HQ plugin is a management and monitoring interface for Elasticsearch and can help when diagnosing issues or monitoring node health.