London Lucene Solr Meetup – Enterprising attitudes to open source search & query completion strategies

Last night the London Lucene Solr Meetup was hosted by Elsevier in their Finsbury Square offices. Our first speaker was Martin White, expert consultant, author of many books about enterprise search and intranets and visiting professor at the University of Sheffield (oh, and Fl...Continue reading

Out with the old – and in with the new Lucene query parser?

Over the years we've dealt with quite a few migration projects where the query syntax of the client's existing search engine must be preserved. This might be because other systems (or users) depend on it, or a large number of stored expressions exist and it is difficult or uneconomic to translate them all by hand. Our usual approach is to write a query parser, which understands the current syntax but creates a Continue reading

Can you make a contribution to Apache Solr core development?

As any regular reader of this blog will be aware, we use almost exclusively open source software on customer projects. To meet their requirements, we often have to extend the functionality of the software (e.g. XJOIN in Solr). As far as possible, with the agreement of the customer, we like to then contribute these changes b...Continue reading

Apache Kafka London Meetup – Real time search and insights

The rise of Apache Kafka as a streaming data solution is something we've been watching for a while - as part of a collection of Big Data tools, it provides a 'TiVo for data' feature. We've begun to use it in client projects covering both search and log analysis...Continue reading

Flax wins contract with NHS Wales to support Apache Solr for Welsh Clinical Portal

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We're very pleased to announce that Flax has won a 3-year contract with the NHS Wales Informatics Service to support the Apache Lucene/Solr search engine used by the Welsh Clinical Portal, during which period we'll be backing up the in-house team with our deep experience of Solr. The Welsh Clinical Portal is a classic example of how a search engine ...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

Helping Bloomberg build a real-time news search engine with Luwak

Bloomberg is one of the world's leading providers of financial news via the Bloomberg Terminal, an almost ubiquitous presence on the desks of finance professionals. As you might expect their systems heavily depend on effective search and over the last few years they have become increasingly involved in the open source community, sponsoring events such as Lucene Revolution and also he...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

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

Better search for life sciences at the BioSolr Workshop, day 1 – Apache Lucene/Solr

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          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 Continue reading