Alpha available

Lucene PMC give first glimpse into Apache Lucene and Solr 4.0

Chris Mayer
Solr

The hugely popular open source NoSQL search platform based on Lucene gets big new features in Apache Solr 4.0

The Lucene PMC have released details of their upgrade to
both Java text search engine Apache Lucene and
Apache
Solr
, the sister open source NoSQL search
platform, with an alpha 4.0 release.


For Lucene
 4.0, the focus has been placed on performance
aspects, with new pluggable codecs for handling the
indexes of terms, the addition of support for stored fields and
document values and a new DirectSpellChecker. Fuzzy query is
claimed to run a “100 to 200 times faster” and in-memory
representation is more efficient.

Much of the dual alpha release’s additional features are
devoted to Solr and a lot of precedence in this release has been
placed upon Solr Cloud, adding in
distributed
attributes
claiming to bring easy scalability to
the standalone full-text search server. Distributed indexing is
redesigned from the ground-up to make near real-time searching a
reality. The introduction of further NoSQL features makes it a
viable solution as a data store, with versioning and optimistic
locking.
The
release notes
claim that Solr Cloud also
creates ‘high availability with no single points of
failure’.
 Solr is getting a boost by now being
integrated into Apache Zookeeper, the highly reliable distributed
environment coordinator at the epicentre of Hadoop.

Other new features scheduled for Solr 4,
include pivot faceting (where the top constraints for one
field can be found for each top constraint of another field),
pseudo-fields (to add metadata along with returned documents)
and
Pseudo-Join (for selecting a set of
documents based on their relationship to another set of documents).
Aesthetically, there’s a shiny new web-admin interface, including
support for Solr Cloud.

Solr uses the Lucene Java search library at its core for
full-text indexing and search, and has extra REST-like HTTP/XML and
JSON APIs to welcome in other languages. Solr’s external
configuration allows it to be altered to almost any type of
application without Java coding, and it has an extensive and
flexible plugin architecture, requiring more complex
action.

This is an alpha release for early adopters, so isn’t
intended for production environments 
but it’s
well worth getting to grips with all
the new
stuff
. Check out the release notes and
download Solr here
.

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