Eleven years of open source search

It's now eleven years since we started Flax (initially as Lemur Consulting Ltd) in late July 2001, deciding to specialise in search application development with a focus on open source software. At the time the fallout from the dotcom crash was still evident and like today the economic picture was far from rosy. Since few people even knew what a search engine was (Google was relatively new and had only started selling advertising a year...Continue reading

Enterprise Search Europe 2012 – Big Data, search surveys and some FUD from Google

I visited Enterprise Search Europe for the first day only last week, and caught a number of the presentations as well as giving one of my own (which I won't discuss here but you'll hear more about over the next few weeks). First up was Paul Doscher of Lucid Imagination with a lively presentation discussing whether search...Continue reading

Big Data – It's not always big and it's not always clever

There's been a recent flurry of activity from search vendors (and those larger companies that have been buying them) around the theme of Big Data, which has become the fashionable marketing term for a sheaf of technologies including search, machine learning, Map Reduce and for scalability in general. If anyone impertinently asks why co...Continue reading

Outside the search box – when you need more than just a search engine

Core search features are increasingly a commodity - you can knock up some indexing scripts in whatever scripting language you like in a short time, build a searchable inverted index with freely available open source software, and hook up your search UI quickly via HTTP - this all used to be a lot harder than it is now (unfortunately some vendors would have you believe this is still the case, which is reflected in their hefty price tags). However we're increasingly asked to develop features ...Continue reading

The Fall and rise of search in a world of Big Data – part 2

The theme of Big Data continued at the next conference I attended, the first Enterprise Search Europe held in London. There was a good mix of presentations ranging from the academic to the practical, my favourite probably being Martin Belam and colleague's talk about using Solr to dynamically generate content for the ne...Continue reading

The Fall and rise of search in a world of Big Data – part 1

It's been an interesting and busy few weeks this autumn - starting with Lucene Eurocon in Barcelona. 'Big Data' was a main theme, with some great presentations including the keynote from Grant Ingersoll and the talk from Eric Baldeschwieler of Hortonworks, showing how ...Continue reading