Use of full-text search engine

Full-text search (FTS) was designed to help users get meaningful outputs – particularly, the desired information – upon their request. How does this mechanism work? Search query text is compared to the whole text within the database. As soon as any matches are detected, they are presented to a user, so he/she can see all the files or posts where the requested info is contained. MS SQL Server, for instance, allows carrying out FTS.

What else is special about FTS?

Its important benefit is the possibility to be performed by multiple keywords, not just by one.

To implement FTS, special engines are often used. ISS Art team, as a rule, works with these ones: Apache Solr, Sphinx, Elasticsearch.

When these full-text search software development tools are applied, the major challenge for a programmer is actually to embed an engine into a project.

How do we choose the most suitable engine?

This largely depends on what is required from the engine. As a rule, we evaluate the following criteria:

Is it possible to execute FTS without special engines?

In fact, most databases support such kind of search (e.g., MySQL, MongoDB, and others). To support a search function, a database needs to be indexed. However, a database is rather limited in its functionality, compared with a full-text search program. Therefore, if the tasks are not too large-scale, a developer can cope with them using the database capabilities. The examples of such cases include the following:

ISS Art has certain experience with FTS. In one of the projects where we utilized capabilities of a full-text search engine Java is the major programming technology. This product is a powerful music streaming and music library solution with social networking functionality. The biggest challenge related to FTS was to decide on the most appropriate tools. Our team gave preference to Solr and Elasticsearch engine – they solved the project tasks perfectly.

For delivering fast full-text search Python might be a comfortable option. Nevertheless, any programming language can deal with this feature – there are no limitations here.

Today FTS is a very in-demand feature in software solutions. We know for sure how to deliver it. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss this and many other components of a successful multifunctional product.

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Hardware & system integration