Solr Consulting

Search is one of the most important aspects in any application. Could you imagine Amazon, one of the world's largest e-commerce websites, without a search functionality? It would be nearly impossible to find products if we had to look for them manually. A robust search in this case is the key towards best user experience, increased customer traffic, growth in sales and generation of customer data, which is invaluable for such a big organization.

Today, there are many different types of technologies available to implement a robust and powerful search feature. But the most prominent are the ones that are based on the famous Lucene library. ElasticSearch is one such technology that is based on Lucene. It is an open-source, powerful, scalable, and has real-time search technology that provides a full-text search and analytics engine. Click here to learn more about ElasticSearch, its features and our consulting and training services.

What is Apache Solr?

Apache Solr is primarily a powerful search engine technology that is enterprise-ready, fast and highly scalable. It was built on top of Lucene and over the years Solr has become a very mature technology that offers features like full-text search, faceted search, hit highlighting, dynamic clustering, near real-time indexing and much more. Solr at its heart is a search engine that allows developers to develop sophisticated, high-performance search applications with advanced features. For small websites or applications, using a single Solr instance can be feasible; however, for bigger applications, Solr can be deployed across multiple clusters that offer distributed indexing, distributed search, high availability, high scalability and fault tolerance.

Apache Solr is also a NoSQL - document database that provides SQL support, transactional capabilities and executes queries in distributed manner. Solr has been popular for its features that enable easy and fast searching of data. But with the introduction of SolrCloud, Solr was recognised as a potential data store that brought in flexible distributed search and indexing. Despite this, creating a data access layer in any application that uses Solr for data storage is not as simple as one would think. There are a lot of caveats while using Solr as a database.

Contact us now to know more about Solr’s capabilities as a database and a search engine. Now that we have a good idea about what Solr is, let’s take a quick look at the various features Solr has to offer.

Features of Apache Solr

  • Full-Text Search: Solr offers a rich and flexible set of features like full text search capabilities, spell-checking, hit highlighting, and advanced analysis/tokenization capabilities.
  • Scalable & Fault Tolerance: As mentioned earlier, Solr can be scaled across multiple clusters. This enables Solr to index data in a distributed manner as well as makes searching highly performant and fault tolerant.
  • Near Real-Time Indexing: This basically means that the documents that are being ingested into Solr are indexed automatically, rather than manual indexing and these documents are available immediately after being indexed. Any information inserted or updated into Solr is available immediately as a search result.
  • Rich Support for REST APIs: Solr can index content from many sources and has integration points for Apache Tika to index rich text documents (Office documents, PDFs, etc.), JSON files, CSV files and Solr-specific XML.
  • Built-In User Interface for Administration: Upon installing and setting up Solr, a built-in user interface is available for programmers and administrators that helps them to keep track of all Solr instances running in a cluster. It can also help them analyze and monitor system-level information, configuration files, Solr logs, collections and much more. Under the covers, the Solr Admin UI re-uses the same HTTP APIs available to all clients to access Solr-related data to drive an external interface.

Contact us to learn more about the various features Solr can offer.

Lucidworks and Cazton

When it comes to search, Lucidworks’ name comes at the top in offering different types of enterprise and AI powered search solutions. They are a well known enterprise search technology company offering an application development platform, commercial support, consulting, training and value-added software for open source Apache Lucene and Apache Solr. Many Apache Solr architects are part of their team that is contributing to the success of Apache Solr. We are excited to announce that Cazton is a Lucidworks partner.

We work closely with Lucidworks on many Solr and Fusion based projects and provide excellent Solr/Fusion consulting, training, recruiting, DevOps and automation, testing and end-to-end support services at affordable rates. To learn more about our Solr services, scroll down to the last section of this article.

Lucidworks is well known for its famous search and data driven application platform called Fusion as well as simplify Solr DevOps with another product called Managed Search that makes it easy to deploy, scale, and operate Solr on public or private clouds including AWS, GCP, and Azure. In the next section, we will take a quick look at both of these products and their features and advantages.

Introducing Lucidworks Fusion

Fusion is Lucidworks’ proprietary technology that operates on top of Solr bringing in additional capabilities that gives users contextual, personally relevant search results and recommendations with artificial intelligence that augments their human intelligence. Lucidworks Fusion is typically composed of three key parts: Fusion Server, Fusion AI and Fusion App Studio.

Fusion Server: It is a highly scalable search engine and NoSQL data store that can store trillions of data of different types from different kinds of data sources. It exposes connectors that can help communicate and ingest data from data sources including but not limited to HDFS, Amazon S3, Google Drive, MapR, Cloudera and a lot more. It also offers some great capabilities like full text search, NoSQL style querying, end-to-end security and processing thousands of complex queries every second.

Fusion AI: It offers countless AI and machine learning capabilities including signal capture and aggregation of queries, clicks, views, purchases and other user behavior to create a personalized experience for each user plus recommenders for collaborative filtering. Its machine learning jobs are highly pluggable and customizable as they run on Spark, but it can easily be changed to follow a workflow that is created by your data scientists.

Fusion App Studio: It offers a set of modular components that can be configured to provide personal insights. Using App Studio will enable your development team to create search and data discovery applications for web and mobile.

Overall, Lucidworks Fusion as a platform provides the enterprise-grade capabilities needed to design, develop, and deploy intelligent search apps at any scale.

Introducing Managed Search

Lucidworks Managed Search lets you host Apache Solr on any public or private cloud platform. It is reliable, highly available, scalable, secure and cost effective. It lets you free up the time which is typically spent in maintaining Apache Solr clusters in-house. Using Managed Search, one can easily get rid of the Apache Solr deployment and maintenance (DevOps) hassle and focus on developing applications that caters your business requirements.

Lucidworks Managed Search is a managed server of Apache Solr that lets you perform data analytics and search data at high speed. It allows you to automatically scale Solr instances in the cloud, apply role based access control, monitor logs and events and integrate with multiple data sources. If you wish to move your Solr cluster to cloud, we highly recommend trying out Lucidworks Managed Search.

How can Cazton help you with Solr Consulting?

At Cazton, we have Solr developers, consultants, architects and administrators who have years of experience working with Solr and implementing it in different kinds of applications. Our Solr consultants can build custom Solr applications and consult you with any scalability issues, explain hardware requirements and offer best practices and architectural design patterns that suit your application requirements.

We can help you set up a Solr cluster from scratch, or migrate your old Solr instances to the latest version, perform complete Solr cluster health checkup and provide documentation of system recommendations and other recommended changes. We can review your current architecture and provide constructive feedback that can be used to improve the end-to-end search system. We also help design a hot failover architecture with proper replication across data centers.

Our experts have worked on projects with terabytes of data that are scaled across several Solr clusters and helped many customers develop Solr integrated applications that offer great performance, high scalability, availability and fault tolerance. Along with Solr/Fusion Consulting and Development, we also offer Solr/Fusion Training, Recruiting, DevOps and Automation, Testing and Support Services at affordable rates.

Cazton is composed of technical professionals with expertise gained all over the world and in all fields of the tech industry and we put this expertise to work for you. We serve all industries, including banking, finance, legal services, life sciences & healthcare, technology, media, and the public sector. Check out some of our services:

Cazton has expanded into a global company, servicing clients not only across the United States, but in Europe and Canada as well. In the United States, we provide our consulting and training services across various cities like Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York, New Jersey, Irvine, Los Angeles, Denver, Boulder, Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, San Antonio, San Diego and others. Contact us today to learn more about what our experts can do for you.

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