Alternatives to Sphinx logo

Alternatives to Sphinx

Elasticsearch, Solr, Lucene, Apache Solr, and MkDocs are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Sphinx.
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What is Sphinx and what are its top alternatives?

It lets you either batch index and search data stored in an SQL database, NoSQL storage, or just files quickly and easily — or index and search data on the fly, working with it pretty much as with a database server.
Sphinx is a tool in the Search Engines category of a tech stack.

Sphinx alternatives & related posts

Elasticsearch logo

Elasticsearch

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Open Source, Distributed, RESTful Search Engine
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Tim Abbott
Tim Abbott
Founder at Zulip · | 22 upvotes · 235.7K views
atZulipZulip
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
MySQL
MySQL
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch

We've been using PostgreSQL since the very early days of Zulip, but we actually didn't use it from the beginning. Zulip started out as a MySQL project back in 2012, because we'd heard it was a good choice for a startup with a wide community. However, we found that even though we were using the Django ORM for most of our database access, we spent a lot of time fighting with MySQL. Issues ranged from bad collation defaults, to bad query plans which required a lot of manual query tweaks.

We ended up getting so frustrated that we tried out PostgresQL, and the results were fantastic. We didn't have to do any real customization (just some tuning settings for how big a server we had), and all of our most important queries were faster out of the box. As a result, we were able to delete a bunch of custom queries escaping the ORM that we'd written to make the MySQL query planner happy (because postgres just did the right thing automatically).

And then after that, we've just gotten a ton of value out of postgres. We use its excellent built-in full-text search, which has helped us avoid needing to bring in a tool like Elasticsearch, and we've really enjoyed features like its partial indexes, which saved us a lot of work adding unnecessary extra tables to get good performance for things like our "unread messages" and "starred messages" indexes.

I can't recommend it highly enough.

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Tymoteusz Paul
Tymoteusz Paul
Devops guy at X20X Development LTD · | 19 upvotes · 878.3K views
Vagrant
Vagrant
VirtualBox
VirtualBox
Ansible
Ansible
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch
Kibana
Kibana
Logstash
Logstash
TeamCity
TeamCity
Jenkins
Jenkins
Slack
Slack
Apache Maven
Apache Maven
Vault
Vault
Git
Git
Docker
Docker
CircleCI
CircleCI
LXC
LXC
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2

Often enough I have to explain my way of going about setting up a CI/CD pipeline with multiple deployment platforms. Since I am a bit tired of yapping the same every single time, I've decided to write it up and share with the world this way, and send people to read it instead ;). I will explain it on "live-example" of how the Rome got built, basing that current methodology exists only of readme.md and wishes of good luck (as it usually is ;)).

It always starts with an app, whatever it may be and reading the readmes available while Vagrant and VirtualBox is installing and updating. Following that is the first hurdle to go over - convert all the instruction/scripts into Ansible playbook(s), and only stopping when doing a clear vagrant up or vagrant reload we will have a fully working environment. As our Vagrant environment is now functional, it's time to break it! This is the moment to look for how things can be done better (too rigid/too lose versioning? Sloppy environment setup?) and replace them with the right way to do stuff, one that won't bite us in the backside. This is the point, and the best opportunity, to upcycle the existing way of doing dev environment to produce a proper, production-grade product.

I should probably digress here for a moment and explain why. I firmly believe that the way you deploy production is the same way you should deploy develop, shy of few debugging-friendly setting. This way you avoid the discrepancy between how production work vs how development works, which almost always causes major pains in the back of the neck, and with use of proper tools should mean no more work for the developers. That's why we start with Vagrant as developer boxes should be as easy as vagrant up, but the meat of our product lies in Ansible which will do meat of the work and can be applied to almost anything: AWS, bare metal, docker, LXC, in open net, behind vpn - you name it.

We must also give proper consideration to monitoring and logging hoovering at this point. My generic answer here is to grab Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Logstash. While for different use cases there may be better solutions, this one is well battle-tested, performs reasonably and is very easy to scale both vertically (within some limits) and horizontally. Logstash rules are easy to write and are well supported in maintenance through Ansible, which as I've mentioned earlier, are at the very core of things, and creating triggers/reports and alerts based on Elastic and Kibana is generally a breeze, including some quite complex aggregations.

If we are happy with the state of the Ansible it's time to move on and put all those roles and playbooks to work. Namely, we need something to manage our CI/CD pipelines. For me, the choice is obvious: TeamCity. It's modern, robust and unlike most of the light-weight alternatives, it's transparent. What I mean by that is that it doesn't tell you how to do things, doesn't limit your ways to deploy, or test, or package for that matter. Instead, it provides a developer-friendly and rich playground for your pipelines. You can do most the same with Jenkins, but it has a quite dated look and feel to it, while also missing some key functionality that must be brought in via plugins (like quality REST API which comes built-in with TeamCity). It also comes with all the common-handy plugins like Slack or Apache Maven integration.

The exact flow between CI and CD varies too greatly from one application to another to describe, so I will outline a few rules that guide me in it: 1. Make build steps as small as possible. This way when something breaks, we know exactly where, without needing to dig and root around. 2. All security credentials besides development environment must be sources from individual Vault instances. Keys to those containers should exist only on the CI/CD box and accessible by a few people (the less the better). This is pretty self-explanatory, as anything besides dev may contain sensitive data and, at times, be public-facing. Because of that appropriate security must be present. TeamCity shines in this department with excellent secrets-management. 3. Every part of the build chain shall consume and produce artifacts. If it creates nothing, it likely shouldn't be its own build. This way if any issue shows up with any environment or version, all developer has to do it is grab appropriate artifacts to reproduce the issue locally. 4. Deployment builds should be directly tied to specific Git branches/tags. This enables much easier tracking of what caused an issue, including automated identifying and tagging the author (nothing like automated regression testing!).

Speaking of deployments, I generally try to keep it simple but also with a close eye on the wallet. Because of that, I am more than happy with AWS or another cloud provider, but also constantly peeking at the loads and do we get the value of what we are paying for. Often enough the pattern of use is not constantly erratic, but rather has a firm baseline which could be migrated away from the cloud and into bare metal boxes. That is another part where this approach strongly triumphs over the common Docker and CircleCI setup, where you are very much tied in to use cloud providers and getting out is expensive. Here to embrace bare-metal hosting all you need is a help of some container-based self-hosting software, my personal preference is with Proxmox and LXC. Following that all you must write are ansible scripts to manage hardware of Proxmox, similar way as you do for Amazon EC2 (ansible supports both greatly) and you are good to go. One does not exclude another, quite the opposite, as they can live in great synergy and cut your costs dramatically (the heavier your base load, the bigger the savings) while providing production-grade resiliency.

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Solr logo

Solr

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An open source enterprise search server based on Lucene search library, with XML/HTTP and JSON APIs, hit highlighting,...
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Solr
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Ganesa Vijayakumar
Ganesa Vijayakumar
Full Stack Coder | Module Lead · | 15 upvotes · 825.5K views
Codacy
Codacy
SonarQube
SonarQube
React
React
React Router
React Router
React Native
React Native
JavaScript
JavaScript
jQuery
jQuery
jQuery UI
jQuery UI
jQuery Mobile
jQuery Mobile
Bootstrap
Bootstrap
Java
Java
Node.js
Node.js
MySQL
MySQL
Hibernate
Hibernate
Heroku
Heroku
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Solr
Solr
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch
Amazon Route 53
Amazon Route 53
Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure
Amazon EC2 Container Service
Amazon EC2 Container Service
Apache Maven
Apache Maven
Git
Git
Docker
Docker

I'm planning to create a web application and also a mobile application to provide a very good shopping experience to the end customers. Shortly, my application will be aggregate the product details from difference sources and giving a clear picture to the user that when and where to buy that product with best in Quality and cost.

I have planned to develop this in many milestones for adding N number of features and I have picked my first part to complete the core part (aggregate the product details from different sources).

As per my work experience and knowledge, I have chosen the followings stacks to this mission.

UI: I would like to develop this application using React, React Router and React Native since I'm a little bit familiar on this and also most importantly these will help on developing both web and mobile apps. In addition, I'm gonna use the stacks JavaScript, jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery Mobile, Bootstrap wherever required.

Service: I have planned to use Java as the main business layer language as I have 7+ years of experience on this I believe I can do better work using Java than other languages. In addition, I'm thinking to use the stacks Node.js.

Database and ORM: I'm gonna pick MySQL as DB and Hibernate as ORM since I have a piece of good knowledge and also work experience on this combination.

Search Engine: I need to deal with a large amount of product data and it's in-detailed info to provide enough details to end user at the same time I need to focus on the performance area too. so I have decided to use Solr as a search engine for product search and suggestions. In addition, I'm thinking to replace Solr by Elasticsearch once explored/reviewed enough about Elasticsearch.

Host: As of now, my plan to complete the application with decent features first and deploy it in a free hosting environment like Docker and Heroku and then once it is stable then I have planned to use the AWS products Amazon S3, EC2, Amazon RDS and Amazon Route 53. I'm not sure about Microsoft Azure that what is the specialty in it than Heroku and Amazon EC2 Container Service. Anyhow, I will do explore these once again and pick the best suite one for my requirement once I reached this level.

Build and Repositories: I have decided to choose Apache Maven and Git as these are my favorites and also so popular on respectively build and repositories.

Additional Utilities :) - I would like to choose Codacy for code review as their Startup plan will be very helpful to this application. I'm already experienced with Google CheckStyle and SonarQube even I'm looking something on Codacy.

Happy Coding! Suggestions are welcome! :)

Thanks, Ganesa

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StackShare Editors
StackShare Editors
Solr
Solr
Lucene
Lucene

"Slack provides two strategies for searching: Recent and Relevant. Recent search finds the messages that match all terms and presents them in reverse chronological order. If a user is trying to recall something that just happened, Recent is a useful presentation of the results.

Relevant search relaxes the age constraint and takes into account the Lucene score of the document — how well it matches the query terms (Solr powers search at Slack). Used about 17% of the time, Relevant search performed slightly worse than Recent according to the search quality metrics we measured: the number of clicks per search and the click-through rate of the search results in the top several positions. We recognized that Relevant search could benefit from using the user’s interaction history with channels and other users — their ‘work graph’."

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Lucene logo

Lucene

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A high-performance, full-featured text search engine library written entirely in Java
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    Lucene
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    StackShare Editors
    StackShare Editors
    Solr
    Solr
    Lucene
    Lucene

    "Slack provides two strategies for searching: Recent and Relevant. Recent search finds the messages that match all terms and presents them in reverse chronological order. If a user is trying to recall something that just happened, Recent is a useful presentation of the results.

    Relevant search relaxes the age constraint and takes into account the Lucene score of the document — how well it matches the query terms (Solr powers search at Slack). Used about 17% of the time, Relevant search performed slightly worse than Recent according to the search quality metrics we measured: the number of clicks per search and the click-through rate of the search results in the top several positions. We recognized that Relevant search could benefit from using the user’s interaction history with channels and other users — their ‘work graph’."

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    Apache Solr logo

    Apache Solr

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    An open source search platform
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      Apache Solr
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      Sphinx
      MkDocs logo

      MkDocs

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      A static site generator
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        MkDocs
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        Sphinx
        Searchkick logo

        Searchkick

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        Intelligent search made easy
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        AddSearch logo

        AddSearch

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        The almighty search platform for all your web content
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          AddSearch
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          Carrot2

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          An Open Source Search Results Clustering Engine
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            Carrot2
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            Sphinx