The fun and frustration of writing a plugin for Elasticsearch for ontology indexing

As part of our work on the BioSolr project, I have been continuing to work on the various Elasticsearch ontology annotation plugins (note that even though the project started with a focus on Solr - thus the name - we have also been developing some features for Ela...Continue reading

Principles of Solr application design – part 2 of 2

We’ve been working internally on a document encapsulating how we build (and recommend others should build) search applications based on Apache Solr, probably the most popular open source search engine library. As an early Christmas present we’re releasing these as a two part series – if you have any feedback we’d welcome comments! Here's the second part, you can also read the Continue reading

Principles of Solr application design – part 1 of 2

We've been working internally on a document encapsulating how we build (and recommend others should build) search applications based on Apache Solr, probably the most popular open source search engine library. As an early Christmas present we're releasing these as a two part series - if you have any feedback we'd welcome comments! So without further ado here's the first part: 1. Use the latest release of Solr Unless there are compelling rea...Continue reading

An open approach to tuning search for gov.uk

Roo Reynolds from the GDS team has written a great blog post about the ongoing process of tuning the search for gov.uk which I can highly recommend. We regularly see situations where a search project has been set up as 'fire and forget' - which is never a good idea: not only does content grow, but use...Continue reading

Clade – a freely available, open source taxonomy and autoclassification tool

One way to manage digital information is to classify it into a series of categories or a heirarchical taxonomy, and traditionally this was done manually by analysts, who would examine each new document and decide where it should fit. Building and maintaining taxonomies can also be labour intensive, as these will change over time (for a simple example, just consider how political parties change and divide, with factions appearing and disappearin...Continue reading

Whitepaper – Why you should be considering open source search

I've uploaded a whitepaper I wrote a short while ago : "In these rapidly changing times we don't know what we will need to search tomorrow – so it's important to be adaptable, flexible and able to cope with data volumes that may not scale linearly. Maintaining control over the future of your search software is also key. Open source search has come of age and every modern business should be awa...Continue reading

Background resources for Enterprise Search

If you're planning an enterprise search project and have no background in the technologies or principles involved, here are some tips to get you started. This isn't going to be a definitive list so if you know more, please do comment. There haven't been a lot of books written on this area over the years, but more are appearing now (especially on open source options). Continue reading

More about LucidWorks Enterprise

If you're considering a Lucene/Solr powered search solution, you may be interested in LucidWorks Enterprise, produced by our partners Lucid Imagination. They've taken Lucene/Solr and added a powerful admin GUI, ReST API, web spiders, file crawlers, database connectors, alerts, a clickthrough framework and more. All this comes with a range of excellent support options backed by the experts at Lucid. If you'd like to know more read this downloadable PDF ...Continue reading

Search Patterns, a great collection

Peter Morville has created a Flickr collection of 'search patterns', showing the different kind of search interfaces available. I can highly recommend you take a look if you'd like some good examples of clustering, faceted navigation, auto-suggest and interfaces for certain sectors such as e-commerce. We often find these concepts difficult to explain to customers without some ...Continue reading