Can we fix your Solr or Elasticsearch system in a single day?

Here at Flax, we're often called in to take a look at existing Apache Solr or Elasticsearch search applications, to suggest improvements, tune-ups or enhancements. It's impossible for us to know ahead of time what we might find - out-of-date versions of the software, slow performance on either (or both) the indexing or search side of the application ...Continue reading

Flax announces partnership with Apache Kafka creators Confluent

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We're very happy to announce our partnership with Confluent, which was founded by the creators of Apache Kafka, a stream data platform and the central component of their Confluent Platform. Flax has been aware of Kafka since its inception at LinkedIn, where it is used as the messaging backb...Continue reading

Elasticsearch London Meetup – Exploring the Graph API & SearchKit UI components

This month's Elasticsearch Meetup was hosted by Argos at their Victoria Digital Hub with a relatively small crowd this time - I suspect quite a few who registered didn't actually turn up or release their tickets, which is a shame as there was a waiting list. Mark Harwood of Elastic was first with a talk about the new Graph API and visua...Continue reading

Choosing between Elasticsearch and Solr

One of the questions we're asked all the time is which of the two most popular open source search engines is best for a particular use case - and the answer is always 'it depends'. Broadly speaking, Apache Lucene/Solr and Elasticsearch are very similar in terms of features and performance. If you've already chosen one of them, there's very few reasons to incur the inevitable extra work of switching to the other. However if you're still not sure which to choose, read on. Solr,...Continue reading

Working with Hadoop, Kafka, Samza and the wider Big Data ecosystem

We've been working on a number of projects recently involving open source software often quoted as 'Big Data' solutions - here's a quick overview of them. The grandfather of them all of course is Apache Hadoop, now not so much a single project as an ecosystem including storage and processing for potentially huge amounts of data, spread across clusters of machines. Interestingly Hadoop was originally created by Doug Cutting, who also wrot...Continue reading

London Lucene/Solr Meetup – Learning to Rank and Hibernate Search

Back to the very impressive Bloomberg lecture theatre for this month's Lucene/Solr Meetup, with an good turnout (I'm guessing 60-70 people). Our first talk came from Diego Ceccarelli of Bloomberg on how his team have created a Solr implementation of Continue reading

Unified Log Meetup – Scaling up with Skyscanner, Samza and Samsara

Last night I dropped in on the Unified Log Meetup at JustEat's offices (of course, they provided lots of pizza for us all!). I've written about this Meetup before - as a rule the events cover logging and analytics at massive scale, with search being only part of the picture. Joseph Francis from Continue reading

Better search for life sciences at the BioSolr Workshop, day 2 – Elasticsearch & others

Over the last 18 months we've been working closely with the European Bioinformatics Institute on a project to improve their use of open source search engines, funded by the BBSRC. The project was originally named BioSolr but has since grown to encompass Elasticsearch. ...Continue reading