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Solr 1.4 Enterprise Search Server [Paperback]

David Smiley , Eric Pugh
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 27.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Aug 2009 1847195881 978-1847195883
The book takes a tutorial approach with fully working examples. It will show you how to implement a Solr-based search engine on your intranet or web site. This book is for developers who would like to use Solr for their applications. You only need to have basic programming skills to use Solr. Knowledge of Lucene is certainly a bonus.

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (20 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847195881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847195883
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 18.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 549,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David Smiley

Born to code, David Smiley is a senior software developer with 10 years of experience in the defense industry using Java and various web technologies. David is a strong believer in the open-source development model and has made small contributions to various projects over the years.

David began using Lucene way back in 2000 and was immediately excited by it and its future potential. Later on he went to use the Lucene-based "Compass" library to construct a very basic search server similar in spirit to Solr. Since then, David has used Solr for a larger search project and was able to contribute modifications back to the Solr community. Although preferring open-source solutions, David has also been trained on the commercial Endeca search platform and is currently using that product as well as Solr for a different project.

Eric Pugh

Fascinated by the "craft" of software development, Eric Pugh has been heavily involved in the open source world as a developer, committer, and user for the past 5 years. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation and lately has been mulling over how we move from the read/write web to the read/write/share web.

In biotech, financial services, and defense IT, he has helped European and American companies develop coherent strategies for embracing open source software. As a speaker he has advocated the advantages of Agile practices in software development.

Eric became involved in Solr when he submitted the patch SOLR-284 for Parsing Rich Document types such as PDF and MS Office formats that became the single most popular patch as measured by votes! SOLR-284 became part of Solr version 1.4.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide to Solr 20 Jun 2010
Disclaimer: This is based on a review copy provided by the publisher.

I really love this book. It showed me so many features of Solr that I didn't know before that I still can't even find the right order I want to integrate some of them into my projects :D

The authors didn't just list features and gave some short explanation for all the configuration options but also always gave examples (using the MusicBrainz database as original data store) on what to use those features for. What's also great is that the book isn't really limited to what is bundled with the Solr distribution but also mentions quite a lot of components that are provided by 3rd parties. With the MusicBrainz database and working on it there is a common thread throughout the whole book which makes it really pleasant to read.

It probably can be argued that this data store as foundation is perhaps not the best choice for working with a supposedly full-text search engine like Solr/Lucene, but it kind of also makes the point that you can use Solr for so much more.

The book is definitely not perfect with some of the integration parts IMO going a bit too far but if you're looking for a book about how to work with Solr, this is definitely something for you. For me personally reading this book was just a joy :D
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.1 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The One, The Only...but still surprsingly good 24 Sep 2009
By XMS - Published on
A required tome for anyone working with Solr. It is recent - actually, it is ahead of the curve - covering Solr 1.4 which is not even GA from apache yet (as of September 2009).

This is the only book for Solr. Literally -- nobody else has written one yet. Despite the lack of competition, the authors have done a good job putting some useful and new information to paper.

The book covers Solr and SolrJ - the embedded Java client API - and even provides some instruction on integration/embedding into your own Java app instead of using it as a stand-alone HTTP server. This capability exists but reference code and documentation is all but nil in the official docs. Performance tuning and replication are also covered. Generally, this book gives you what you need to make use fo the key (and some sideline) features of Solr so you can get it working for you.

And a big plus: no huge appendices of Javadoc that are useful only to increase page counts to make you feel you are getting 'value'. Really, who refers to Javadoc at the back of a book? I thank the authors and publishers for avoiding this temptation.

But the book does suffer from a problem inherent in tech publications: the assumption that the reader will start on page 1 and move forward. It tries to teach by creating one monolithic application that is spread throughout 300 pages. This is annoying if you start on chapter 8 as much context is lost. Also, these types of books spend too much time focused on the example application code and not enough time talking about the book topic. In the case of this book, the authors use a music database as their example application -- and spend many, may pages talking ancillary garbage about the music metadata, objects and the applications needed to download/use it. I don't care about how to use MusicBrainz. Really.

My free advice to publishers: develop your monolithic reference applications and post them to your website. Refer to them in your books, but use the pages otherwise wasted on music metadata trivia to show two or three alternate ways of using Solr, instead of the one that fits your fictional use case.


Solr has real potential but like most open source projects is sorely missing documentation and reference implementations. Like always, you could crawl the source to figure it out yourself ("What Would Stallman Do?") or buy this book. Frankly, my time is worth more than the book. I'd rather crawl through my own source.

While the authors get caught in the all-too-common approach of extending a single fictional use case throughout the entire book (hate that) - forcing too many pages to focus on the context of their use case and fewer pages on Solr - they do deliver enough of the goods to earn four stars. It would be five if they dropped the extraneous junk and used more pages for the core Solr product.

NB: I love Amazon but am going to point you to the publisher's website on this one. There you get the hardcopy book PLUS an immediately downloadable, password-free, copy-and-paste friendly eBook for about the cost of the paper version alone. I travel a lot and the eBook is amazingly helpful.

Amazon: add the eBook (not Kindle, I need this on my laptop).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shaved 2 weeks off my project 8 July 2010
By D. Bruns - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Coming from a PHP Web Development background, I have had little experience using Java on web development projects. Although I am quite familiar with the language, it has been a good 6 years since I really used Java. This book was exactly what I needed to get a powerful search engine up and running for my system. I have an application with 200,000 products that must be searchable. Millions of options and billions of combinations make for a fairly complex system. Solr was the right way to go, but online documentation just didn't cut it. "Solr 1.4 Enterprise Search Server" explained everything I needed to know in a way that was not difficult to understand. Although the book was written before Solr 1.4 was released, the authors did a good job of keeping the content relevant and mention potential hiccups when 1.4 would be released. There is a decent section on implementation with PHP and Ruby.

I'm giving this book 4 stars only because I think the authors could have done a better job explaining the process and best practices for deploying solr to production.

If you are looking to build a fast and accurate search engine for large amounts of data, Solr is the way to go and this book will help you.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book that Helped me go from 0 to Production 14 Oct 2009
By Vladimir Landman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading different Solr guides and tutorials. The problem with the guides and tutorials is they did not do a good enough job of explaining what the different Solr terminology was. Faceting, Multiple Cores, etc.

This book started out a bit slow, but was pretty well organized. It showed numerous ways of bringing data into Solr, and numerous ways of getting data out. The publisher lets you download the source code and data on their site, and you can stick that into Solr.

I also like the fact that the book is pretty recent. I could not find anything in the book which had become "deprecated". All in all, the book helped me go from knowing nothing about Solr, to going live in 2-3 weeks which is pretty darn good.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incoherent 3 Jan 2011
By arief bawan - Published on
The book is not organized for somebody who is new to this space. The english sometimes is mangled and incoherent. The chapters aren't organized to take the reader gradually into the advanced aspects of the technology. I would rather suggest the WIKI site, which has much better information.
1.0 out of 5 stars Just badly written 26 Feb 2013
By Trevor Huckstep - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I assume because they came out with one of the first books on SOLR that people would just buy it no matter what they put inside of it. I would descibe this book with the analogy of a person who gives useless directions, they assume you have already been there 50 times already and so can follow their bad and ill thought out directions no matter what.
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