With the world turning digital, massive amounts of data is being generated and churned into the Web every minute. As a result, data professionals are always on lookout for dynamic platforms that can offer improved search engine features. Apache Solr is one of the most trending web server application that facilitates searching web content in major search engines. The platform is claimed to notably improve and speed up the search engine.
Talking about Solr and Lucene, both are Apache projects that have been made to work together. However, Apache Solr is considered to be a standalone server and is a bit advanced. Whereas, Apache Lucene is a Java library-based solution used to index (store) and search data. You can easily build a running search server using Solr within minutes without the need of any coding. But, in case of Lucene, you will need non-trivial Java programming to build full-text search function.
Solr (spelled as solar) is nothing but an open source web application which implements Lucene-based search aptitudes. Basically, it uses the Lucene search library but additionally provides a lot of other tools and extends some of its features. Also, it is considerably more flexible and adaptable because of the XML configuration. Here’s the more detailed comparison between Apache Lucene and Apache Solr.
COMPARING THE CORE FEATURES:
- Indexing: What ‘indexing’ allows is, instead of going and scanning the entire database table; users can go and pre-process the table to be optimized for searching. For optimized speed in recovery of data, indexing is the most crucial step involved. For instance, in case of an enterprising site, both can be seen designating. As we know Apache Lucene involves basic programing, it gives search results using JAVA API. Thus, non-trivial Java programming is needed to build full text search. Whereas in case of Apache Solr, the pre-configured search server, a search server can be built in just a snap of time by altering an XML file without the need for any programming. Hence, it saves a lot of time and money.
- Installation: As stated above, Apache Solr is flexible and can be downloaded by any non-programmer. Whereas Apache Lucene can be used only by proficient a search engineer or programmer or anyone who has sufficient knowledge of Java programming and the internals of Apache Lucene software.
- Interdependence: Lucene has always been a guideline to Apache Solr as it cannot create its own indexes and relies on the indexes created by Apache Lucene. Ironically, there is no such thing as Apache Solr index in the programming world.
- Compatibilty and ease: Apache Solr is more compatible as it offers some crucial technological features such as clustering, scaling, metrics, management consoles, language examining etc. High volume of traffic can be easily handled using Apache Solr whereas search-based sites use Apache Lucene for reverse index and such relating issues.
- Query patterns: Once the query parser that converts your search words into specific instructions for search engines is customized in Apache Lucene syntax, it will always be the same until another query parser is fed. Also, searching boundaries are limited. Apache Solr is optimized for extensible plugin architectures such as typeahead search, spell check etc. Range queries, prefix queries and wildcard queries have same outcomes in Apache Solr.
- Geospatial search: Taking advantage of spectacular search, Apache Solr is considered to be a boom by geospatial companies. Location based searched sites prefer to use Apache Solr technology over Apache Lucene.
In short, Solr embeds all the best practices of Lucene, along with offering easier integration and distribution than the latter. It also, offers easy a debugging interface.
Infographic: Apache Solr Vs Apache Lucene