Weve been talking to our customers to understand why they are adopting Solr. Is it because its a great product from the Apache Software Foundation? Is it because Lucene has a cute naming story? Is it because of Solrs compelling feature set, ease of use, and great admin interface?
Unfortunately, its none of those reasons. The top three reasons for adopting Solr are:
- Vendor Fatigue. Companies are tired of being tied up in complex and expensive licensing contracts, per document pricing schemes, and opaque service agreements. This Dilbert comic I saw in the paper today struck very closely: This is why our basic services agreement is a 1 pager!
- Flexibility. Weve worked with a number of clients whove used Google Search Appliance and Google Custom Search because they were so gosh darn simple to setup. They subsequently moved to Solr because they either ran into the limitations for indexing information or presenting a rich search user experience with those solutions. With Solr, you can integrate with any datasource, and display your search results in whatever format you need. The more “seamless” you want your search experience to be with your site, the better Solr looks.
- Stability. As much as I love Lucene, its a very complex beast. And many organizations have developed their own search engines on top of Lucene that have become expensive to manage, and dont offer the features that Solr does. Were going to be busy for a long time helping companies move from pure Lucene based search to Solr!