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by Sahana Anantha Murthy
Implementing grade-A site search functionality is not easy to achieve. Proprietary search solution tend to carry very expensive licensing fees and provide limited flexibility when integrated with open source solutions such as Drupal. Conversely, open source search engines such as Apache Solr are devoid of licensing fees and have tight integration with CMSes like Drupal, however they can also be challenging to deploy and maintain. Acquia Search provides the power and flexibility of open source while eliminating the maintenance tax.
Acquia Search is a fully managed SaaS offering that integrates seamlessly with Drupal applications. It is built on the Apache Solr search engine and is a part of the Acquia Network suite of tools. It also uses open source libraries like Apache TIKA. Many Drupal developers use Apache Solr but with Acquia Search, developers get a fully managed service so they don’t have to worry about anything other than developing great search experiences.
Apache Solr is highly robust and scalable, capabilities that give developers the tools to build greater search experiences for their users. It is believed that many site users inevitably compare onsite search experiences with the ones they get with larger search engines. There is a lot of effort that goes into implementing search functionality, which is where I believe Acquia Search provides developers the support they need to achieve any search related tall-order tasks.
To use Acquia Search, you will need to enable the following modules:
• Acquia Search: to be able to access the Acquia Search infrastructure.
• Acquia Network Connector: to be able to connect your site to the Acquia Network.
• Apache Solr Search Integration: This is the module that connects Drupal with the Apache Solr search platform. This module provides robust search and indexing functionality.
Apache Solr just offers a great underlying platform to implement search. The Drupal community is filled with multiple modules that enable you to fine tune and extend the basic search experiences further. For instance, Facet API is an essential module to enable faceted search interfaces that most users of the site expect. With Facet API, you’ll have to enable the prerequisite Chaos tool suite. There is also Apache Solr attachments module that allow you to include file attachments in your search index and Apache Solr multisite search, which is great for Acquia Search because Acquia network allows multisite import.
Here’s a video demonstration of "how to configure search facets using Acquia Search":
Acquia Search - Facets and Relevancy
The recommended list of modules here is in no way exhaustive. There are so many other modules that you can use to meet your user’s necessities. Follow us in this space to get further information on the set of modules that can make your user’s search experience extraordinary.
For complete information on Acquia Search, please visit our product documentation section at https://docs.acquia.com/acquia-search .