Apache Solr Beginner's Guide

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9781782162520: Apache Solr Beginner's Guide

Where do you start with Apache Soir? We'd suggest with this book, which assumes no prior knowledge and takes you step by careful step through all the essentials, putting you on the road towards successful implementation.


  • Learn to use Solr in real-world contexts, even if you are not a programmer, using simple configuration examples
  • Define simple configurations for searching data in several ways in your specific context, from suggestions to advanced faceted navigation
  • Teaches you in an easy-to-follow style, full of examples, illustrations, and tips to suit the demands of beginners

In Detail

With over 40 billion web pages, the importance of optimizing a search engine's performance is essential.

Solr is an open source enterprise search platform from the Apache Lucene project. Full-text search, faceted search, hit highlighting, dynamic clustering, database integration, and rich document handling are just some of its many features. Solr is highly scalable thanks to its distributed search and index replication.

Solr is written in Java and runs as a standalone full-text search server within a servlet container such as Apache Tomcat or Jetty. Solr uses the Lucene Java search library at its core for full-text indexing and search, and has REST-like HTTP/XML and JSON APIs that make it usable with most popular programming languages. Solr's powerful external configuration allows it to be tailored to many types of application without Java coding, and it has a plugin architecture to support more advanced customization.

With "Apache Solr Beginner's Guide" you will learn how to configure your own search engine experience. Using real data as an example, you will have the chance to start writing step-by-step, simple, real-world configurations and understand when and where to adopt this technology.

"Apache Solr Beginner's Guide" will start by letting you explore a simple search over real data. You will then go through a step-by-step description that gives you the chance to explore several practical features. At the end of the book you will see how Solr is used in different real-world contexts.

Using data from public domains like DBpedia, you will define several different configurations, exploring some of the most interesting Solr features, such as faceted search and navigation, auto-suggestion, and rich document indexing. You will see how to configure different analysers for handling different data types, without programming.

You will learn the basics of Solr, focusing on real-world examples and practical configurations.

What you will learn from this book

  • Understand what is full-text search and a faceted navigation are and when to use them
  • Install and use Solr for testing
  • Write your own configurations for the Solr index incrementally and test them with the Solr web UI
  • Learn how to test a Solr running instance using cURL with different formats, like XML, JSON, and so on
  • Construe your data and define the entities to be indexed in Solr
  • Examine text and make auto-suggestions
  • Index data using various formats and various data sources, and learn how to expose data in various formats
  • Start using Solr in contexts like Open Data and Linked Data
  • Use Solr for expanding your data with resources from public, well-known knowledge bases


Written in a friendly, example-driven format, the book includes plenty of step-by-step instructions and examples that are designed to help you get started with Apache Solr.

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About the Author:

Alfredo Serafini

Alfredo Serafini is a freelance software consultant, currently living in Rome, Italy. He has a mixed background. He has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science Engineering (2003, with a thesis on Music Information Retrieval), and he has completed a professional master's course in Sound Engineering (2007, with a thesis on gestural interface to MAX/MSP platform).

From 2003 to 2006, he had been involved as a consultant and developer at Artificial Intelligence Research at Tor Vergata (ART) group. During this experience, he got his first chance to play with the Lucene library. Since then he has been working as a freelancer, alternating between working as a teacher of programming languages, a mentor for small companies on topics like Information Retrieval and Linked Data, and (not surprisingly) as a software engineer.He is currently a Linked Open Data enthusiast. He has also had a lot of interaction with the Scala language as well as graph and network databases.

You can find more information about his activities on his website, titled designed to be unfinished, at http://www.seralf.it/.

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