Enterprise Search & Discovery 2014, Washington DC

Last week I attended Enterprise Search & Discovery 2014, part of the KMWorld conference in Washington DC. I'd been asked to speak on Turning Search Upside Down and luckily had the first slot after the opening keynote: thanks to all who came and for the great feedback (there are slides available to conference attendees, I'll publish them more widely soon, but this talk was about media ...Continue reading

Searching for IP addresses in text with Elasticsearch

We recently implemented a search solution for a customer using Elasticsearch. Most of their requirements were fairly standard, however they also wanted to be able to search for IP addresses embedded in the document text, using a flexible and precise search syntax, e.g. given the following document fragment:

    ... the API can be accessed at on port 8700 ...

the following searches should all find the document:

...Continue reading

The trouble with tabbing: editing rich text on the Web

Matt Pearce, who joined the Flax team earlier this year, writes: A recent client wished to convert documents to and from Microsoft Office formats, using a web form as an intermediate step for editing the content. The documents were read in, imported to a Solr search engine, and could then be searched over, cloned, edited and transformed in batches, before being exported to Office once more. The cont...Continue reading

Three reasons why your search may be prehistoric

ArnoldIT wondered today why we were bothering to announce an upgrade to the venerable dtSearch engine, when they "weren’t aware of too many people still using that software". Perhaps it's time for a quick reality check here - we regularly see clients with search engines that many would consider prehistoric still in active use. Here's some reasons why that might be so:

Building high-end search features at low cost with Apache Solr

One of the best things about the increased use of open source search technology is that features that were previously unattainable for clients with small budgets are now within reach. Our client Bride and Groom Direct, a UK-based business selling wedding gifts and stationery, asked us if we could help improve the search features on their website and in particular the auto-suggest - and they asked us to take a look at the website of US mega-reta...Continue reading

Phony wars: the battle between Solr and Elasticsearch

The most well known open source search engine, Apache Lucene/Solr, has a rival in Elasticsearch, also based on Apache Lucene. Or maybe it doesn't. I'm not convinced that there's an actual battle going on here, above and beyond the fact that the commercial companies formed to support each technology (Lucidworks and Elasticsearch [...Continue reading

New Year predictions: further search storms ahead!

2012 has been a fascinating and stormy year for those of us in the search business. We've seen a raft of further acquisitions of commercial closed source search companies by bigger players, some convinced that what used to be called Enterprise Search is now a solution to Big Data (like Stephen Arnold we wonder what will succeed Big Data as the next marketing term - I love his phrase "In a quest for revenue, the vendo...Continue reading

Autonomy & HP – a technology viewpoint

I'm not going to comment on the various financial aspects of the recent news about HP's write-down of the value of its Autonomy acquisition - others are able to do this far better than me - but I would urge anyone interested to re-read the documents Oracle released earlier this year. However, I am going to write about the IDOL technology itself (I'd ...Continue reading

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