eZ Improves Search Functionality with eZ Find 2.0
Care to celebrate Friday with a story about eZ Systems, the self-proclaimed content management ecosystem? Either way we leave you no choice. The company recently released a significant update to their eZ Find search plug-in. The latest update enhances relevancy controls and allows you to search multiple eZ websites and non-eZ Publish data sources. Read on, there's more.

It's eZ (Friday Is Also Good For Awful Jokes)

In case you aren’t in the know, eZ Find is an open source, enterprise-ready search plug-in for the popular eZ Publisher web content managment system. Based on the Lucene Java and Solr projects.

eZ Find makes it possible to search multiple eZ Publish installations, as well as other types of data, simultaneously. And the company boasts that high scalability and performance ensures that the eZ Find search engine can support enterprise-level sites.

A Quick Note on eZ Publish For Good Measure

eZ Publish is an object-oriented, open source Web CMS with a strong focus on the web publishing and online media sectors. It is also commonly used as the basis for corporate websites, intranets and e-commerce sites. But the media is space is where the company currently has the most focus.

eZ Publish is 100% open source, available either as a free download or as a commercially supported enterprise solution -- including technical support, service level agreements and system maintenance.

The core of eZ Publish is increasingly built upon the eZ Components PHP framework. This framework provides basic services including database access, logging, caching, object persistence, etc. Additional projects such as eZ Flow and eZ Newsletter address specific industry needs.

Indexing Remote Content

One of the most common questions about the search module is whether or not eZ Find can index and search content that is stored outside of an eZ Publish system. The short answer is "yes"! C'est possible!

As mentioned above, what we find under the covers of eZ Find is the Lucene Java full-text search engine. eZ Systems have wrapped this along with best mate, the Apache Solr project, up in attire fitting for the high courts of the eZ Publish PHP kingdom.

Learning Opportunities

Not to worry though, search democracy lives on -- non-family members and for that matter any appropriately formatted and addressable data entity may be promoted into the game.

The eZ Find search index can be populated with information from all different types of data sources using external plugins and XML importers.


eZ Find Datasources -- Search Democracy in Action

What's New in v2.0

Let's get down to business. Here's what you can expect with the new and improved eZ Find:

  • Tunable relevance ranking: Higher weights can be given to certain types of content, parts of content (like titles of tags) or specific pages so that the most important material always appears first.
  • Faceted searching: You can configure drill-down navigation attributes in order for users to narrow results, such as by publication year or for specific authors.
  • More flexible search terms: Support boolean, fuzzy and wildcard operators.
  • Related results: Offer "more like this" links to content or initial search results in an automated way.
  • Search phrase suggestions: Make use of a spell checker and provide "best guesses" to improve or correct search phrases.

Time to Play

That's the scoop and it's tasty. We're happy to see more and more of the native Lucene and Solr functionality being surfaced in the eZ Publish interface and to see some creativity bubbling through as well.

For those already swimming in the eZ ecosystem, you can download the lastest eZ Find build here. And if you're a search geek and PHP coder, well it's off to the kitchen with you. Jump into the SVN pot here.