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Lucid Imagination's LucidWorks 2.0 Makes Open Search Attractive to the Enterprise

4 minute read
Josette Rigsby avatar

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Lucid Imagination has announcedthe latest version of its commercially supported Lucene/Solr distribution,LucidWorks Platform 2.0. The release is squarely focused on putting open-sourcesearch inside the enterprise, and despite what you may have heard, Lucid Imagination wantsto make it clear it is not an enterprise search vendor.

LucidWorks Is Not Enterprise Search

In the decade since its creation, Lucene/Solr has become oneof themost popular open-source projects and made implementing search accessible to organizations of all sizes. Despite the features and largenumberof installs, some enterprises still hesitate to adopt an opensource solution --no vendor to call if things go horribly wrong,limited features for operationalsupport and lack of pre-builtintegrations -- it does not give cautioustechnology leaders a warmfuzzy feeling. There are options.

Lucid Imagination offers a fully commercially supporteddistributionof Lucene/Solr, Lucid Works Platform, and the latest release makes using open source search an even more viable option for enterprisecustomers. Theenhancements in LucidWorks 2.0 focus on three corethemes:

  • operational support for enterprise environments
  • big data support
  • value added enhancements to Apache Lucene/Solr 4

Peter Tait, Chief Marketing Officer, and Grant Ingersoll,ChiefScientist, for Lucid Imagination provided details on how the company is positioning LucidWorks and what’s new in the latest release.

One of the most unexpected facts Tait had regarding LucidWorkswas notrelated to feature enhancements – LucidWorks is not an enterprise search product. According to Tait,

With this release we no longerrefer to ourselves as enterprisesearch. We have always been a platform forpeople building search orsearch-based applications, which is fundamentallydifferent from whathas been traditionally perceived as the enterprise searchmarket. Withthat said, if you look at the Lucene/Solr features and marketfootprintof thousands of installations already, it would be a very significant market player.”

Huh? Luckily, I speak fluent marketing, so I will translate.LucidImagination wants to position its product as more flexible, extensible and suitable for building search applications than the usual monolithicenterprisesearch solution. This will be an attractive approach fororganizations thathave struggled customizing or extending a searchsolution.

No Need to Be Nervous About Open Source Search

Lucid Imagination has been committed to making open sourcesearchenterprise option since its inception. The latest release of LucidWorks demonstrates that continued commitment. The company implemented several enhancements designed to make it easierto adopt and manageLucene/Solr-based LucidWorks in an enterprise environment. Version2.0features a new administrative console that allows administrators to moreefficientlyconfigure the environment and reduces the likelihood oferror due to editingconfiguration files manually.

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Learning Opportunities

In addition, therelease includes:

  • improved security
  • built-in upgrade tools
  • pre-built connectors to connect for common enterprisedata sources such as SharePoint
  • a standardized monitoring interface andinstrumentation to allow integration with enterprise management and monitoringtools
  • built-in log search and indexing tools

It is also now possible to deploy LucidWorks platform to thecloud,which is an increasingly important requirement in many organizations.

Beyond operational improvements, LucidWorks 2.0 also tacklesanotherenterprise concern -- growing data sizes. As organizations accumulate large volumes of diverse data, many are exploring search toact asan interface to that data. LucidWork 2.0 provides pre-builtconnectors for databases,filesystems, Microsoft Sharepoint CMS Search,Hadoop Distributed File System(HDFS) and Amazon EC2 S3 cloud storage.The platform also includes a standardconnector framework that allowsorganizations or vendors to create their ownintegrations.

Lucid Imagination has also introduced a number ofvalue-addedfeatures in Lucid Works 2.0 that do not exist in the core Lucene/Solr platform such as REST API, which allows you to automate manyintegration,configuration and operations tasks. A detailed list ofcapabilities inLucidWorks that are not available in the standardApache Lucene/Solr distributionis available.

LucidWorks Platform 2.0 is available now for download. Have you had an opportunity to evaluate the software? Are youplanning onupgrading an existing implementation? Let us know yourthoughts.