Seven Ways the Solr Search Platform Touches Our Daily Lives

1 - Seven Ways the Solr Search Platform Touches Our Daily Lives
2 - Shopping With Solr
3 - Solr Is Social
4 - Solr and Media
5 - Solr in the Government
6 - Solr Handling Our Money
7 - Solr Drives Big Data
8 - Solr Powers a New Generation of Computing
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Seven Ways the Solr Search Platform Touches Our Daily Lives

by Darryl K. Taft

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Shopping With Solr

Effective search and recommendation functions are central to the success of any e-commerce site. Shoppers must be able to easily find the exact products they want to buy and return relevant and contextual results every time they search. Solr offers advantages over other platforms, including quick deployment, consistent performance at scale and features like full-text search, auto-suggest and faceted navigation. Zappos, eBay, Best Buy and Target rely on Solr to make thousands of products findable.

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Solr Is Social

Slow performance is a death wish for any platform or Website, and social networks are no exception. Sites like Instagram, Reddit, Digg and eHarmony make use of Solr in order to meet today's user demand for speed.

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Solr and Media

To make content findable, media outlets require search servers that can manage high volumes of rich content and traffic. Solr powers the search functions of content providers like The Guardian, Netflix and tech product news and review site CNET. In fact, Solr began as an in-house project to add search capability to the CNET Website in 2004, two years before the company decided to openly publish its source code.

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Solr in the Government

The U.S. government's big data governance, security and scale requirements are quite complex. In 2009, Whitehouse.gov announced it would run on open-source content management system Drupal with Apache Solr as its search engine. Solr has been widely adopted in other areas of the government: the General Services Administration, the "Amazon of federal procurement" that oversees over $66 billion in transactions annually, offers Solr solutions and Lucidworks products in its catalog, giving government agencies out-of-the-box tools to translate big data stacks into data-driven decisions.

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Solr Handling Our Money

Solr provides all data, all the time at scale, a quality that's crucial to industries like financial services in which guarantees, regulations and risk requirements are important. The search engine serves as the primary data store for many financial services firms that, for example, serve up information for use in high-frequency trading.

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Solr Drives Big Data

Organizations of every size and industry are amassing more data than ever, but most aren't making use of that information to carry out actual business decisions. Search delivers the ability to retrieve, capitalize on and realize the promise of big data, transforming old structures and workflows into effective, relevant entities. Hortonworks, Cloudera and MapR—the three major Hadoop vendors—rely on Solr in their distribution to power search.

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Solr Powers a New Generation of Computing

Search is more than just a search box—it's the future of human-computer interaction. According to a recent IDC study, by 2020 the amount of data on the planet will grow tenfold to 44 zettabytes, but only 10 percent of it will come from connected machines. Meanwhile, mobile phones are more ubiquitous than indoor plumbing, according to a UN study. This means we as humans—our actions, purchases, whereabouts—are fast becoming the primary input of big data. Search helps us make sense of this data, treating it less as stored documents and more like extensions of ourselves.

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