Installation Guide Checklist: Sample Template For Technical Writers

In the introduction section, identity the software you are about to install, steps to prepare for installation, running installation scripts, and post-installation tasks after the installation script has completed.

In general, your installation guide will include most of the following:

  • Introduction
  • Choose the Installation Type
  • Concepts
  • Setup
  • Pre-Installation Requirements
  • Pre-Installation Checklist
  • Installation and Configuring Procedure
  • Post-Installation Tasks
  • Troubleshooting
  • Validation Checklists
  • Uninstall sequence

Introduction

The first section to write is the introduction. This orients the reader and gives them a bird’s-eye view of the installation guide.

For example

The ACME Installation and Configuration Guide provides instructions for installing components on computers that are intended to support and run the ACME system.

ACME is a web-based system that allows licence authorities to create, update, and share data protection policies.

Sample introduction from the Drupal installation guide.

“This guide covers preparing for installation, running the installation script, and the steps that should be done after the installation script has completed. It also explains how to do a “multi site” installation, where a number of different Drupal sites run off the same code base.

This documentation focuses on performing tasks at the command line. For information on using graphical tools, see the documentation that accompanies the application or is provided by your hosting service.

Before proceeding with your first Drupal installation, you should review the minimum requirements and best practices. Most web hosts meet these requirements.”

Choose the Installation Type

It the user can install different flavors of your product, outline the options, then highlight the benefits and features.

The Confluence site explains how to select the correct installation type. Note links to other useful information.

There are two methods of installing Confluence, using an installer, or manually from a standalone zip or archive file.

Install option Is this right for you?
Install Confluence using an installer

  • Windows
  • Linux
If you’re evaluating Confluence, use this option or try Confluence Cloud free.
Install Confluence from a zip or archive file

  • Windows
  • Linux
This option requires you to manually install files and configure some system properties. Use this option if there isn’t an installer for your operating system.

The EAR/WAR distribution is no longer available, you should use this option if you previously deployed Confluence into an existing application server.

Install Confluence in a cluster

Windows or Linux

Confluence Data Center is a clustered solution for large enterprises. Read the Confluence Data Center Technical Overview to find out if Confluence Data Center is right for your organisation.

Concepts

The SharePoint 2013 installation and configuration guide includes a helpful section where they describe the different concepts used in SharePoint. This is nice way to orient readers and explain how the software works in non-technical terms.

“A fundamental understanding of the following key structural elements in a SharePoint 2013 environment is required in order to correctly deploy and support SharePoint 2013:

  • Server farm: The top-level element of a logical architecture design for SharePoint 2013.
  • Web application: An IIS Web site that is created and used by SharePoint 2013.
  • Content database: Provides storage Web application content. You can separate content into multiple content databases at the site collection level.
  • Site collection: A set of Web sites that have the same owner and share administration settings.
  • Site: One or more related Web pages and other items (such as lists, libraries, and documents) that are hosted inside a site collection.

In addition to understanding the elements of a SharePoint 2013 environment and how they have to be configured for your solution, you must consider the following additional factors: physical architecture, installation and configuration, and the various stages of deployment.

Setup

Pre-Installation Requirements

Next, we have the pre-installation steps. What you need to have ready before the installation scripts are run.

Sample text

Specific software prerequisites and hardware requirements must be satisfied for your product to install successfully. The installer program checks the software prerequisites. If any prerequisites are missing, it highlights the missing items and requests that they be installed. All prerequisites must be are installed before the installation starts.

Hardware Requirements

Computers must meet the following hardware requirements.

  • Minimum Hardware Requirements
    • Processor:
    • Processor speed:
    • Random access memory (RAM):
    • Hard disk capacity:
  • Recommended Hardware Requirements
    • Processor: Dual Pentium Xeon P5.
    • Processor speed: 2.6 GHz or greater.
    • Random access memory (RAM): 8 GB or greater.
    • Hard disk capacity: 8 GB or greater free space.

Software Prerequisites

The installation setup program runs checks for the following software prerequisites:

  • Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003, Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
  • Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005

Other Installation Requirements

The following installation requirements must also be completed:

  • Database – identify paths, tables, databases, and permissions.
  • APIs – identify paths, settings, and endpoints.

Server Components and Installer File Names

Identity the installation files.

Component Installer File
Identity the component Identify the installer file, eg .exe, msi.
Identity the component Identify the installer file, eg .exe, msi.
Identity the component Identify the installer file, eg .exe, msi.

Pre-Installation Checklist

Create a checklist to ensure that the servers are ready for installation.

# Checklist Item
1 Copy [file] to the [directory].

Specify the configuration settings in the [config] file.

2 Copy [file] to the [directory].

Specify the configuration settings in the [config] file.

3 Copy [file] to the [directory].

Specify the configuration settings in the [config] file.

Installation and Configuring Procedure

Describe the installation and configuration tasks.

Note: You can install only one instance on a given server computer.

The installation procedure contains the following steps:

# Checklist Item
1 Ensure that designated servers meet minimum hardware requirements.
2 Ensure that software prerequisites are installed.
3 Run the installer program on the server computer.
4 Run the DB installer program the server computer.

Post-Installation Tasks

Describe the post-installation tasks.

Post-Installation Checklist

Create a checklist for post-installation and configuration requirements, for example:

# Checklist Item
1 Configure Group Policy Settings.
2 Configure the user mailbox settings.
3 Launch the services in the appropriate order.
4 Enable Event Logging on the server.
5 Configure Account Service security using Authorization Manager.

Troubleshooting

Describe the installation issues that may occur when installing the product, for example:

Warning 2314. A numeric value must be provided for the port.

The port number provided for handling the Request Handler read/write services must be whole numbers that represent valid HTTP ports.

Either the SQL Server specified does not exist or access is denied.

Verify the SQL Server instance name, or contact your system administrator.

Designated account credentials could not be authenticated

The system was not able to authenticate the credentials provided for the user account.

Confirm the credentialing information for the user account and try again.

Validation Checklists

Create a checklist to validate a successful installation.

Use the following validation checklist, or portions of it, to validate a successful installation of the components.

# Checklist Item
1 A database named ClientDataBase should exist on the client computer.
2 The database ClientDataBase should have the following tables:
3 The database ClientDataBase should have the following users:

User 1

User 2

User 3

4 The database ClientDataBase should have the following roles:

Role 1

Role 2

Role 3

5 The client computer should have Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 Express with the name OBASQL.
6 A database named “ClientDataBase” should exist on the client computer in the OBASQLEXPRESS instance.
7 The database “ClientDataBase” should have the following tables:

BoundItemCopy

CacheData

DeletedBoundItemCopy

NonRoamingPersonalizationData

QueryControlMessage

QueuedRequest

SynchronizationStatus

Uninstall sequence

Uninstall previous versions of the product using the Add/Remove Programs feature on the Control Panel.

Uninstall sequence:

  1. Uninstall client components
  2. Uninstall SQL Server 2005 Express (optional)
  3. Uninstall Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 (optional)
  4. Uninstall Visual Studio® Tools for the Microsoft Office System Client Runtime (optional)

Summary

That’s it. Every installation guide is different. Most include the following:

  1. Introduction
  2. Pre-Installation Tasks
  3. Installation and Configuring Procedure
  4. Post-Installation Tasks
  5. Troubleshooting
  6. Validation Checklists
  7. Uninstall sequence

Final tip.

Check the document by trying to install the software by yourself.