Apache Lucene/Solr 3.4.0 Released, Brings Improved Indexing, Faster Search, Bug Fixes
Search is an integral component of any enterprise content management system. Whether you run content mainly for external clients, or as an internal knowledge base, finding the right information at the right time will usually spell the difference between success and difficulty in search -- hence the importance of an up-to-date enterprise search engine. The Apache Lucene Project Management Committee has announced the latest Lucene/Solr release, which will ensure searches are on the mark, with optimized indexing and search, as well as bug fixes.

Open-Source Release

Apache Lucene 3.4.0 comes with a handful of updates designed to make indexing faster and searches more accurate. This release includes the following updates:

  • A new faceting module for computing facet counts during search can now parse grouped and range facet results.
  • A new module has been added that improves indexing and searching of nested documents, which are organized in parent/child trees.
  • Documents can now be indexed with term frequencies, but without positions.
  • The query and filter cache can now be disabled.
  • Positions can be omitted so that term frequencies can be indexed without keeping position information.

Lucene 3.4.0 also comes with various bug fixes and performance improvements. For instance, a major bug that results in corrupted indexes with power losses is now fixed. The system likewise gains performance improvements from improved memory utilization.

Enterprise-Grade Search Likewise Updated

Meanwhile, Lucene's enterprise-grade implementation Solr also gets a 3.4.0 release. This particular release likewise includes Lucene 3.4.0 embedded, but includes features more appropriate for an enterprise server setting.

Learning Opportunities

Solr 3.4.0 includes the following updates and features.

  • Performance is improved by more efficient memory usage and improvements in build time.
  • XLST handler now allows posting of XML transformed by a valid XSLT.
  • Field grouping and collapsing allows post-group faceting option, and can now compute facet counts for the highest-ranking documents per group.
  • Multi-threaded data import handler includes various fixes.

Lucene is a free and open-source download through the Apache license, while Solr is the enterprise server implementation of Lucene, upon which organizations can build their search infrastructure. The Lucene PMC says the 3.4.0 update is essential due to potential crashes that might be caused by power failures in previous versions.