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More than search: Apache Solr changes the way you build sites

Your session in a few words: 
The search revolution is finally available to anyone with a Drupal site. Let users find the content they want with Apache Solr Search
September 3, 2009 - 17:15 - 18:00
La Resserre
From zero to hero
Session Type: 
Level of expertise: 

The search tool can become the central interface though which visitors find information on your site - supplanting the need for extensive hand-crafted site sections and navigation menus and improving the user experience by letting them quickly find what they are looking for following a pattern that is natural to them. Unfortunately, a SQL database is not optimized to provide these sorts of features, so solutions built totally within the PHP/SQL framework have difficulty performing well for large sites or for multi-sites search. Indexing the data from site content with Apache Solr allows you to offload the computational effort and optimization to a separate server. We will show how Drupal integrates with Solr and how a search integrating content from both groups.drupal.or and could look.


  • Presentation on motivation and capabilities
    • Why was search broken on d.o
    • It's all about facets. Text is only the first step.
    • Recommended content using Solr
    • Multi-site search. What it works for, what are the limitations
    • Bonus features:
      • Spell Checking
      • Highlighting
      • Phonetic search
  • Presentation on setup / installation / infrastructure
    • Overview of Solr – How data is indexed, how it is retrieved
    • Brief look at the admin interface for Solr
    • Installing Solr / Java
    • Installing the schema / Apache Solr module
    • Indexing Data
    • Configuring facet blocks
  • Live Demo and trials from the audience. (For example, get suggestions of Drupal research people need to do in the audience, we'll run the same queries on core search, and our search.)

This is intended to be an introduction and overview. Other talks and BoFs will dive into more technical details. Attendees will find out how Solr can improve the usability of their site and get a solid overview of the technology involved. We will also provide a brief introduction to Acquia's hosted search service

presentation slides

A copy of the slide is available for viewing here: