Azure Search vs Elasticsearch

Azure Search
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Azure Search vs Elasticsearch: What are the differences?

Azure Search: Search-as-a-service for web and mobile app development. Azure Search makes it easy to add powerful and sophisticated search capabilities to your website or application. Quickly and easily tune search results and construct rich, fine-tuned ranking models to tie search results to business goals. Reliable throughput and storage provide fast search indexing and querying to support time-sensitive search scenarios; Elasticsearch: Open Source, Distributed, RESTful Search Engine. Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine capable of storing data and searching it in near real time. Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats and Logstash are the Elastic Stack (sometimes called the ELK Stack).

Azure Search and Elasticsearch can be categorized as "Search as a Service" tools.

Some of the features offered by Azure Search are:

  • Powerful, reliable performance
  • Easily tune search indices to meet business goals
  • Scale out simply

On the other hand, Elasticsearch provides the following key features:

  • Distributed and Highly Available Search Engine.
  • Multi Tenant with Multi Types.
  • Various set of APIs including RESTful

"Easy to set up" is the primary reason why developers consider Azure Search over the competitors, whereas "Powerful api" was stated as the key factor in picking Elasticsearch.

Elasticsearch is an open source tool with 42.4K GitHub stars and 14.2K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Elasticsearch's open source repository on GitHub.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Azure Search?

Azure Search makes it easy to add powerful and sophisticated search capabilities to your website or application. Quickly and easily tune search results and construct rich, fine-tuned ranking models to tie search results to business goals. Reliable throughput and storage provide fast search indexing and querying to support time-sensitive search scenarios.

What is Elasticsearch?

Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine capable of storing data and searching it in near real time. Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats and Logstash are the Elastic Stack (sometimes called the ELK Stack).

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    What are some alternatives to Azure Search and Elasticsearch?
    Solr
    Solr is the popular, blazing fast open source enterprise search platform from the Apache Lucene project. Its major features include powerful full-text search, hit highlighting, faceted search, near real-time indexing, dynamic clustering, database integration, rich document (e.g., Word, PDF) handling, and geospatial search. Solr is highly reliable, scalable and fault tolerant, providing distributed indexing, replication and load-balanced querying, automated failover and recovery, centralized configuration and more. Solr powers the search and navigation features of many of the world's largest internet sites.
    Amazon CloudSearch
    Amazon CloudSearch enables you to search large collections of data such as web pages, document files, forum posts, or product information. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can create a search domain, upload the data you want to make searchable to Amazon CloudSearch, and the search service automatically provisions the required technology resources and deploys a highly tuned search index.
    Algolia
    Our mission is to make you a search expert. Push data to our API to make it searchable in real time. Build your dream front end with one of our web or mobile UI libraries. Tune relevance and get analytics right from your dashboard.
    Amazon Elasticsearch Service
    Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a fully managed service that makes it easy for you to deploy, secure, and operate Elasticsearch at scale with zero down time.
    Swiftype
    Swiftype is the easiest way to add great search to your website or mobile application.
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    Decisions about Azure Search and Elasticsearch
    Tim Specht
    Tim Specht
    ‎Co-Founder and CTO at Dubsmash · | 16 upvotes · 29K views
    atDubsmashDubsmash
    Memcached
    Algolia
    Elasticsearch
    #SearchAsAService

    Although we were using Elasticsearch in the beginning to power our in-app search, we moved this part of our processing over to Algolia a couple of months ago; this has proven to be a fantastic choice, letting us build search-related features with more confidence and speed.

    Elasticsearch is only used for searching in internal tooling nowadays; hosting and running it reliably has been a task that took up too much time for us in the past and fine-tuning the results to reach a great user-experience was also never an easy task for us. With Algolia we can flexibly change ranking methods on the fly and can instead focus our time on fine-tuning the experience within our app.

    Memcached is used in front of most of the API endpoints to cache responses in order to speed up response times and reduce server-costs on our side.

    #SearchAsAService

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    Reviews of Azure Search and Elasticsearch
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    How developers use Azure Search and Elasticsearch
    Avatar of imgur
    imgur uses ElasticsearchElasticsearch

    Elasticsearch is the engine that powers search on the site. From a high level perspective, it’s a Lucene wrapper that exposes Lucene’s features via a RESTful API. It handles the distribution of data and simplifies scaling, among other things.

    Given that we are on AWS, we use an AWS cloud plugin for Elasticsearch that makes it easy to work in the cloud. It allows us to add nodes without much hassle. It will take care of figuring out if a new node has joined the cluster, and, if so, Elasticsearch will proceed to move data to that new node. It works the same way when a node goes down. It will remove that node based on the AWS cluster configuration.

    Avatar of Instacart
    Instacart uses ElasticsearchElasticsearch

    The very first version of the search was just a Postgres database query. It wasn’t terribly efficient, and then at some point, we moved over to ElasticSearch, and then since then, Andrew just did a lot of work with it, so ElasticSearch is amazing, but out of the box, it doesn’t come configured with all the nice things that are there, but you spend a lot of time figuring out how to put it all together to add stemming, auto suggestions, all kinds of different things, like even spelling adjustments and tomato/tomatoes, that would return different results, so Andrew did a ton of work to make it really, really nice and build a very simple Ruby gem called SearchKick.

    Avatar of AngeloR
    AngeloR uses ElasticsearchElasticsearch

    We use ElasticSearch for

    • Session Logs
    • Analytics
    • Leaderboards

    We originally self managed the ElasticSearch clusters, but due to our small ops team size we opt to move things to managed AWS services where possible.

    The managed servers, however, do not allow us to manage our own backups and a restore actually requires us to open a support ticket with them. We ended up setting up our own nightly backup since we do per day indexes for the logs/analytics.

    Avatar of Brandon Adams
    Brandon Adams uses ElasticsearchElasticsearch

    Elasticsearch has good tooling and supports a large api that makes it ideal for denormalizing data. It has a simple to use aggregations api that tends to encompass most of what I need a BI tool to do, especially in the early going (when paired with Kibana). It's also handy when you just want to search some text.

    Avatar of Ana Phi Sancho
    Ana Phi Sancho uses ElasticsearchElasticsearch

    Self taught : acquired knowledge or skill on one's own initiative. Open Source Search & Analytics. -time search and analytics engine. Search engine based on Lucene. It provides a distributed, multitenant-capable full-text search engine with an HTTP web interface and schema-free JSON documents.

    Avatar of nextdocdev
    nextdocdev uses Azure SearchAzure Search

    Used to build a mechanism to find the documents

    Avatar of Chris Riley
    Chris Riley uses Azure SearchAzure Search

    Application Global Search

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