Elastic, MachineLearning, BigData, Lucene, Apache, Tutorial, Search, Data management, Visualization
  • By Achin Gupta
  • In Tech
  • Posted March 14, 2018
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To find a partner for your friend on a matrimonial site, the first thing you do is enlisting all the different prospects so that the process becomes easy for you. Let’s call this indexing. Then, you try to understand what qualities you’re looking for followed by identification of the different persons who imbibe them – two processes called querying and mapping respectively. Lastly, we rank the outcome i.e., you form a mental hierarchy of the most suitable to the least suitable person and present the results to your friend.

Now, imagine if instead of a bride or groom for your friend, there’s a particular word or phrase that you need to search for in an entire database of documents. That, my friend, is how Apache Solr, with its full-text search capabilities, came into the picture. This technology is being used extensively and its utilization to power Google’s All For Good (when Google’s own search technology could easily be employed) is a testimony to its strengths and potency.

Wide Entranceway

It is no surprise that we have all undergone the trauma of refreshing a webpage bazillion times when booking concert tickets or checking exam results on a university website. This is the high traffic syndrome which unlike the roads of metropolitan cities, has also surfaced in the digital world. Search queries run by such sites reduce its overall efficiency due to looming gridlock. Solr helps solve this problem since it is optimized for such situations and is hence, being used by high-traffic websites such as Netflix.com and StubHub.com as a search solution provider.

A cushion of open interfaces

A French woman and Spanish guy can communicate if either of them knows the other’s native language or if both of them know a common language, let’s say English. Similarly, for the transmission of data from a web server to a client, certain data formats like XML, JSON and HTTP are widely used. Solr utilizes these very open interface standards i.e., tools that are consensus-based and easily available, to generate universal software packages called ‘snaps’. These containerized Linux packages can be installed at a fast rate and are easy to create.

Rapport like Samantha and Theodore Twombly

Travelling to another city, you will not carry a cumbersome book with you even if it is beautifully written, or ever buy a gizmo that you cannot learn how to operate. Similarly, it is extremely important to be able to befriend (do not be too inspired by Her!) the technology that you’re using and this can surface only via effective human-computer interaction. From nodes running in Cloud mode to an exhibition of Java information about each core, the Solr administrative user interface is crafted to meet your requirements. You can polish and control your Solr instances for maximum and efficient performance.

Pin drop silence! Stand in a queue!

Much like a bunch of unruly kids in kindergarten, often devices, networks and even applications need to be monitored and managed with extra effort. This is made possible with the help of technologies that act as a doorkeeper to metric data. Solr uses such a technology called JMX to publish this data and to provide a greater understanding of your instances while object-oriented programming. This is what makes Solr a hit among software companies such as Datadog and Cloudera.

Scope of atonement

One stupid mistake can change everything – agreed! But if you can go back in time as if by magic, retract and redress your miscue, there’s no harm done. Solr provides this time machine and allows you to correct your faults by building tolerance. Built on Apache Zookeeper, it increases flexibility and scalability and can be used for a variety of purposes ranging from Mapquest’s Search Ahead to Lucidworks.

No complaints, no demands

An employee meets sales targets at the end of the month and is extremely knowledgeable. But he refuses to work overtime when needed, is not receptive to criticism and does not always adorn a  professional demeanour. So with time, it will be hard for the employer to deal with him. Drawing parallels, it is necessary for technology too to be flexible and adaptable. Tailored to conform to your needs along with easy configuration, Solr allows users to deal with different situations. You can also change any code you want and bake in both index and query time plugins.

Right here, right now!

Solr utilizes Lucene’s Near Real-Time Indexing capabilities i.e., an update can be searched within milliseconds after it has been affected. Index changes are visible to the user with rapid turnaround time. Since impatience is the eighth cardinal sin and is embedded in our system down to the very roots, this is an important feature that makes Solr all the more enticing. Make a change and see how it has crystallized that very instant – swish and flick!

Feel free to contact me for all your queries. It’s a sure thing, you and I, we’re gonna have a hell of a time searching for the hidden treasures.

Achin Gupta


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