Full-text search Apache Solr is currently an extremely popular technology implemented and developed by programmers. Many global giants use it – including Adobe, Apple, Disney, Netflix, and Instagram, as well as NASA and the US Department of Homeland Security services. What makes Apache Solr so popular? See how it works and how you can use the potential of this tool!
What is Apache Solr?
Apache Solr is a full-text search platform, available on an open source basis, being part of the Apache Lucene project – this means it is just using the Lucene search library. Thanks to the open source license it is constantly developed and improved. Many programmers are working on it, and each of them has access to the source code of their platform. This solution offers adaptation of the technology to your own needs and preferences.
Solr, like Lucene, is written in Java. It is equipped with HTTP / JSON APIs, which are similar to REST. The entire search engine is designed for scalability and stable operation. Enormous integration options allow you to customize Solr for many different types of applications and plugins. This full-text search engine is therefore excellent when creating dedicated applications that require a highly individual approach. It is also often used for large corporate systems and those requiring analyzes.
How does Apache Solr work?
Apache Solr is a stand-alone server, which works by full-text search with the ability to highlight hits, with suggestions appearing for search terms, as well as with spell checking. Solr is also able to detect the language, use the faceted search (find information sets having common features), create a dynamic cluster hierarchy and support various file formats, e.g. Ms Word (doc or docx) and PDF. What’s more, Apache Solr has a lot of searchable files of this type.
On the technical side, Apache Solr provides APIs based on HTTP and JSON / XML similar to REST. This allows simple integration with applications and other services without having to write Java code. The ability to use plugins allows you to extend the functions of the search engine and adapt it to many types of applications. The Solr platform can use numerous client libraries for programming languages such as: Java, PHP, C ++, C #, Python, Scala, Ruby and many others.
What does the entire search process in Apache Solr look like? First, a set of data is indexed, i.e. the document is converted into a format that allows its quick search later. Then a query is sent to Solar. It is properly interpreted by the search engine, which searches the database and selects information relevant to the phrase entered by the user. It is worth emphasizing at this point that data indexing takes place in almost real – near real time (NRT – near real time). It is therefore not necessary to approve the search, because with each entered letter you will see more and more relevant results. Then follows the mapping of the entered query to indexed documents to find the right result. Search results – documents – appear in the form of a ranking and are sorted by their relevance.
Is Apache Solr a good solution for you?
As we have already mentioned, great services often benefit from the capabilities of Apach Solr, as well as users who need powerful, dedicated applications tailored to their complex needs. It is also worth remembering that Solr uses global search methods. This means that after you implement any, even the smallest, changes made to the database, you must refresh the entire database. So if you work with data that does not require too frequent changes, but you need high accuracy and performance of searches, Apache Solr is a very good solution. It is also a tool that bodes well for the future, because both Apache Solr and Apache Lucene are developed by the same team of Apache Software Foundation, which strives to make their products as efficient as possible.
Do you want efficient full-text search and is this the best solution for your website? Then take advantage of the wide possibilities of Apache Solr!