Time to replace your Google Search Appliance with open source search

As many others have noted, Google have recently announced their Google Search Appliance (GSA) will not be available for sale from 2017. Search gurus Miles Kehoe and Martin White have written an insightful analysis of the move with some recommendations as to what to do - because your GSA will simply stop working once the 2-year license expires. I don't agree with Lauren...Continue reading

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

Elasticsearch vs. Solr: performance improvements

I had been planning not to continue with these posts, but after Matt Weber pointed out the github pull requests (which to my embarrassment I'd not even noticed) he'd made to address some methodological flaws, another attempt was the least I could do. For Solr there was a slight reduction in mean search time, from 39ms (for my original, suboptimal query structure) to 34ms and median search time from 27ms to 25ms - see figure 1. Elasticsearch, on the ...Continue reading

London Text Analytics Meetup – Making sense of text with Lumi, Signal & Bloomberg

This month's London Text Analytics Meetup, hosted by Bloomberg in their spectacular Finsbury Square offices, was only the second such event this year, but crammed in three great talks and attracted a wide range of people from both academia and business. We started with Gabriella Kazai o...Continue reading

Out and about in search & monitoring – Autumn 2015

It's been a very busy few months for events - so busy that it's quite a relief to be back in the office! Back in late November I travelled to Vienna to speak at the FIBEP World Media Intelligence Congress with our client Infomedia about how we've helped them to migrate their media monitoring platform from the elderly, unsupported and hard to scale Continue reading

Flax Newsletter November 2015

In this month's Flax Newsletter:

  • Building an open source search team is hard - let us help with training & mentoring on Solr and Elasticsearch
  • RS Components: Flax & Quepid help us to make "crucial" data driven decisions for tuning search
  • 40x faster indexing with Elasticsearch for Hadoop - over a gigabyte per second!
...Continue reading

Quepid & Flax – if you’re not testing your search, you’re doing it wrong!

Earlier this year an e-commerce company asked us to look into how they should improve how they tested their website search queries. A relatively simple task you might think - but the company concerned has a turnover of over a billion pounds with at least half of this via digital channels, so measuring how well search works is essential to preserve revenue. Like (I suspect) many others, they were recording the results of thousands of test searches, carried out manually by their s...Continue reading

Elasticon London 2015 – more products, more scale, more users!

Last week Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch, landed in London for one of their current series of one-day events. The £50 entrance fee has been put to good use, raising £16750 for AbilityNet who work on accessible IT - a very generous offer by Elastic. Shay Banon, creator of Elasticsearch, kicked off...Continue reading