Flax Search Service alpha release

The Flax team are pleased to announce the alpha release of Flax Search Service (FSS). FSS combines powerful, high-level indexing and search features with a well-designed Web Services interface. FSS is Open Source software (under the MIT licence) and is available as a free download from Google Code.

Web Services and Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their many advantages. FSS provides a RESTful interface in which databases, documents, and searches are represented as resources identified by URLs. For example, to add a document to a database,the document data is POSTed to the database resource. To search for a word or phrase,the client sends the query as a GET request to the database, which responds with a list of matching documents. Indexing transactions may be handled automatically or explicitly by the client.

For convenience, client libraries are being developed in several languages, including PHP, Python, Java and JavaScript. It would be a simple matter to interface to FSS in any language with support for Web protocols. The FSS distribution also includes example code to get you started, and basic documentation.

FSS alpha supports enough indexing and search functionality to implement basic but useful information retrieval systems. Over the next few months we will be adding support for advanced features like facets and tags, geolocation and image search. It will run on any system with support for Xapian and Python (Windows, Linux and Mac amongst others).

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