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An Aspire application is basically a set of Aspire components that have been combined together in order to perform a certain function--like connecting to a SharePoint repository or publishing extracted data to a Solr engine for indexing. You can create your own applications by configuring various Aspire components to run in a particular order through a pipeline (for more on that, see the Introduction to Aspire Applications).
Before you can run an Aspire application, it must first be installed onto your Aspire server(s). Installing an application is basically loading the application's configuration file and all properties of the various components that combine to make up the application. To install any application using the Admin user interface, the basic steps are:
- Go to the Aspire main administration page, the "Servers List" page. This will be the top-level name of your Aspire installation, for example: http://localhost:50505/.
- Click on the link which represents the server on which you wish to install the application.
- You will see an "Edit Server" dialog box. Click on the "Add Application" link to add a new application to the server.
- In the "Application" pulldown, select the application you want to install.
- Complete the Property information required for the application that you're installing (these vary per application).
- Click the Add button.
If you click on the "Autostart" box as part of the installation, the application will be automatically running when the Aspire server is running.
When you are returned to the main Server List page, you will see a list of "Installed applications" under the server host name.
Configuration Information for Different Applications
When you "install" an application, you are loading its configuration information and storing it in an application.xml file (you can find an example file in the config directory of your downloaded Aspire distribution).
A single Aspire instance can load multiple application.xml files (with different names). All files can be active at the same time. Multiple configuration files help make configuration control simpler. Creating a different application.xml for each data collection you have makes it easy to add or remove new collections of data to your system.
You can also create and load application.xml files manually (i.e., not through the System Admin user interface). See Aspire Application Configuration for more information.
Installing Manager Applications First
If you will be installing data connectors (i.e., SharePoint, Amazon S3, CIFS, etc.) to your content sources, you must install the Content Source Manager (or CS Manager) application first, before any of the connector applications can be installed. The CS Manager stores information about your content sources in a relational database (either internal or external). This database holds lists of content sources to crawl, connection information, crawl information (each crawl is given a unique "Crawl ID"), crawl statistics, and any errors encountered during a crawl.
For a list of all the pre-packaged Aspire applications that you can install, see the Application Library. (Be aware that some of these applications are available only with Aspire Enterprise.) Also be aware that there is a separate tutorial for installing each type of Connector application; see those individual tutorials under Connectors.
Installing Applications in Distributed Environments
If you are working in a distributed processing environment, you will need to install some applications on all of your Aspire servers, in this same manner. Applications with the same name (on different servers in a cluster) will be assumed to perform the same function, and when a job gets sent down the pipeline, it could be routed to any server running that application. For more information about distributed environments, see Multi-Node Installation.