The primary issues under discussion are what enterprise search actually means, how to implement it in Plone, what are the special features inherent to Plone enterprise search and how to benefit from them. We shall try to cast a glance at these problems and provide you with the most exhaustive solutions. Reveal the benefits of enterprise search with Solr platform in Plone and keep it always at your sleeve!
Enterprise Search - what’s that?
Familiar with the notion of web search, but have not a single clue about what enterprise search comes about? Not a big deal, we’re here to make it clear to you.
So, in web search the whole web world is at your disposal and the search technology is applied to all data available in the net, while with enterprise search the technology is limited to data accessible within your enterprise - intranet, e-mail, various folders, files, document management systems, repositories, etc. The idea of enterprise search is therefore very practical in terms of saving time and increasing consistency in managing your work.
In this article we would mainly like to concentrate on the connection between Plone as one of the leading open source CMS and Solr as a tool designed to implement the idea of enterprise search in Plone-based websites. However, it is important to remember that the notion of enterprise search also works independently, while Plone can further enable using desirable search indexing across multiple Plone-based websites. You may use search tools separately within your intranet systems and then apply the results to search within your Plone site. However, whenever a company uses different web systems or services for different purposes, a problem might arise that you would most probably have to open each service separately and search for what you need be separate search tools. This could make your knowledge base inconsistent and, obviously, eat your precious time. With enterprise search engine this problem can be solved, as well as your time and money can be saved.
Now when we have come up with defining the notion of enterprise search, another question appears - how can this idea be implemented in Plone?
Plone and Its Enterprise Search Features
Plone enables by default the full-text indexing of Word and PDF documents with the ability to add support for the other formats. More recently developed LiveSearch feature is also available in Plone. It provides your website users with the ability to get required feedback on a search query quicker and, therefore, more efficiently. However, there are definitely not enough indexing options to limit search results to those that you REALLY need. In case of large websites with a lot of content you usually have to look through and automatically discard unnecessary search items to find desirable data. But isn’t it too time-consuming? And in business we all know that ‘Time is money’, so we have to look for the quickest and most user-friendly solutions to save the time of our prospective clients and, simultaneously, contribute to our own state of welfare.
What’s the solution? Plone offers out-of-the-box open source search engine - Lucene/Solr - powerful and integrated one characterized by the innovative ability of using stopwords and synonyms, as well as assigning weights to certain features.
Solr Search Features
Solr is a widely used open source enterprise search platform based on Apache Lucene project. Plone uses the SolrIndex product developed specifically for Plone/Zope. It boasts additional searching capabilities and advanced search algorithms. Among its most innovative and exciting features we can outline the following ones:
- usage of stopwords - allows ignoring unnecessary words for your search results like articles, particles, prepositions, etc.
- enabling synonyms - including additional matches to your search query and extending search results by means of synonyms
- highly scalable search - ability to apply search queries across several websites
- extensible design - can be easily integrated with other indexes and catalogs
- ability to have additional customization - you can assign federated search, faceted search, weights to certain most desirable features to rank your query results, spelling suggestions and ‘more like this’ suggestions
Feel baffled by the SolrIndex enterprise search benefits? Give it a try and strengthen your business! Contact Quintagroup to get more information on the solution relevant in your particular case!