Isn’t Solr Already Free
Apache Solr/Lucene is widely implemented, has a large community and features that rival -- or even surpass -- commercial offerings. So why bother with Lucid Imagination’s latest offering? Lucid Imagination’s enterprise search solution, LucidWorks Enterprise, is really about making Apache Solr/Lucene more accessible to organizations.
When using base open source Solr/Lucene solution without Lucid, organizations can’t just point to a set of documents or files, index them and search. In addition, Solr/Lucene doesn't include any pre-defined data connectors –- each connection type must be created by the user. Once it can connect to the data, everybody can see it. Wait. That’s not a good thing. The core Solr/Lucene platform has no security -- an omission that most enterprise can't overlook.
LucidWorks Enterprise at a glance
The general availability release of LucidWorks Enterprise comes after months of testing in an early access program. Although the platform is based on Apache Solr, organizations aren’t required to have deep Solr expertise to build search solutions with LucidWorks.
Lucid Imagination reduces the technical complexity of leveraging Solr by providing an automated installer, configurable data connectors and a web-based administration interface. In addition to the add-on to Solr/Lucene users can easily observe, multiple enhancements were made to make the solution easier to deploy to the cloud. Lucid contributed these changes back to Apache.
LucidWorks Enterprise administrative interface
Organizations that are currently using Apache Solr/Lucene can take advantage of LucidWorks Enterprise without modifying their current implementation. Lucid built on top of the Apache engine instead of dramatically altering it any way.
Reducing the effort to implement the commodity elements of search may free up some organizations to pursue endeavors that are more sophisticated and increase the value of search results. Enterprises already on the Apache bandwagon that want to dabble in Web 3.0, might consider explorer Stanbol.
Stanbol is a semantic engine created by the EU funded Interactive Knowledge Stack project, that was accepted for incubation with Apache last month.
Forward thinking organizations that experiment with leveraging Apache Solr/Lucene and Stanbol could deliver richer search results with more relevant suggestions of related documents and assets. Search results could also be improved using semantic categorization.
Get Your Hands on It
LucidWorks Enterprise is available for download here. The product is free for development, integration, test and instructional use. Use in production however, requires an annual subscription.
Lucid’s pricing strategy differs from that of many commercial search products. There are no per-document or per-user charges. Instead, Lucid opts for a much easier option to calculate annual fee. For US$ $64,000 per year, customers receive SLA-based incident management support during business hours Monday through Friday, 80 hours of advisory services and support for up to 4 servers. Lucid also offers optional pre-production priority support for developers starting at US$ 36,000 per year for an unlimited number of servers.