Drupal Search API
Search API is an out-of-the-box Drupal search module that provides a framework for building searches using any backend search engine. It consists of a list of additional modules for improving searching capabilities and providing advanced full-text search features. With these additional contributed modules, it becomes so much easier for the developer to customize and improvise their search functionalities.
Search API Database Search is a module that’s built as the backend for the Search API module. Since it can use any normal database for indexing, it is far cheaper and simpler than using other backend solutions like Solr. Nonetheless, it is also used by large Drupal websites like Drupal.org itself where they’ve combined the Search API Database with the Search API module.
Apache Solr Search module integrates your Drupal website with the Apache Solr Search platform. Solr is an extremely reliable, fast and a stand-alone search engine written in Java and built on Lucene for full-text search. Some of the other extraordinary features offered by Apache Solr search are:
- Faceted navigation which allows visitors to navigate through a list of information by applying multiple filters.
- Hit Highlighting enables you to highlight those words or phrases that helped in returning the search results.
- Near Real-time Indexing makes sure your documents are all set to be searched as soon as they are indexed.
- Dynamic Clustering helps grouping related search results and assigns readable labels to these groups.
- ..and many more
Solr indexes all your data in a specifically designed data structure (in an ‘inverted indexing’ style) and stores these indexed files on the file system. So instead of reaching out to your Drupal database, it maintains its own data store and runs all queries against it. These features make Apache Solr a super-fast, fault-tolerant and highly scalable search server.
Search API Solr Search is a module that provides a Solr backend for the Search API module and uses Apache Solr servers to index and search content. It supports facets and multi-index searches and is suitable for large websites because of its flexibility and scalability. You can customize the search functionalities like changing how the search results are returned or changing the way it indexes/searches data.
You can also choose from many web Solr hosts which are compatible with search API if you do not want to install your own Solr server.
A lot of efforts have been put in and many additional modules have been created by Drupal to make external search appliances work effortlessly with Drupal websites. They are very efficient and extremely powerful tools to work with. Whereas Drupal’s own out-of-the-box search solutions does the same job but maybe not as accurate, robust and feature-rich as Solr. Thus, it all boils down to what your requirements really are.
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