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Solr Site Search Technical Documentation released

29 juni 2011 door Frank Schipper

Solr Site Search is a hosted search solution, based on the popular open source Solr search engine. Solr offers search capabilities that outrank the search facilities offered by Google Site Search, but is more difficult to implement. The hosted service "Solr Site Search" developed by Integrace removes this limitation. The document "Solr Site Search Technical implementation Guidelines" describes the interface to this hosted service.

Solr: a powerful search platform

Solr is an open source enterprise search platform. Solr is highly scalable and offers very powerful search features that go beyond  the features of another popular search platform, Google in its various variants.

The main reason for this is the different approach of both platforms, the main difference being that Google spiders websites by following links, while Solr is feed-based. This has far-reaching consequences. An example of these consequences is the fact that removing an item from the Google search index can be a time-consuming task without immediate success, while updating the Solr index is done instantaneously. Another example is that searching structured collections of data, as opposed to Google, is very easily done with Solr.

However, one main drawback of the Solr platform is the knowledge and expertise that is needed to install, run and feed the Solr search engine. Google is offered as a service, through the cloud and also in a boxed version (Google Mini).

Solr Site Search: a hosted version of Solr offered as a service

Solr Site Search (formerly: Solr-as-a-service), developed and offered by Integrace BV, removes this drawback. Solr Site Search is, like Google Site Search, a SaaS solution.  Implementation is as easy as implementing Google Site Search. The solution is hosted by Integrace.

As said, Solr does not offer a spider that indexes full sites. To get data into Solr, one has to upload the data oneself. The Solr Site Search solution offers a straightforward interface to do this. This interface is described in this document.

Querying the search index and presenting the search results is done in roughly the same way as found in Google. Results are returned in XML-documents.

A future version of Solr Site Search, currently under development, will offer a spider that crawls URLs and also the capability to present formatted search results that are available through Javascript.  This future version will make Solr a suitable solution for even the smallest of sites, that now use the basic free version of Google Site Search. The current version of Solr Site Search is primarily aimed at sites that are looking for a more powerful alternative for the (paid) business edition of Google Site Search.

Solr Site Search technical documentation

This document describes the standard version of Solr Site Search. The interface implements parts of the facilities offered by Solr. However, in its current form Solr Site Search already covers the majority of search requirements of complex environments and of large institutions, while hiding all the complexities of this very powerful search environment. In future versions the interface will be expanded on the basis of input of our clients. For very client-specific requirements, there is always the possibility to develop a client-specific version of the interface or Solr itself.

Download the latest version of the Solr Site Search Technical Implementation guidelines (v1.1).

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