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 Lucene fits with other Apache projects such as Hadoop, Mahout and HBase. I also enjoyed the presentations from Andrzej Bialecki on a portable index format for Lucene, Jan Høydahl of Cominvent AS on the Solr Update Chain and James Alexander of the Open University on building a Solr-powered search of their video archives. Luckily this year the presentations were videoed – so I can catch up on the presentations I missed – you’ll also be able to see me talk about our recent work with Reed Specialist Recruitment.

Of course, one of the major reasons for attending an event like this is the networking and talks outside the main event, and it was great to catch up with others in the field – one meeting between a number of us with an interest in pipelining and data conditioning led to the creation of an informal group to discuss how we might better share ideas, code and best practises.

While we were at the conference the announcement that search vendor Endeca had been bought by Oracle – and yes, this is also probably about Big Data. These are fascinating times – is search becoming the enabling technology for a revolution in how we deal with digital information?

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