Elasticsearch vs Swiftype

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Elasticsearch

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Elasticsearch vs Swiftype: What are the differences?

Introduction

Elasticsearch and Swiftype are both search platforms that are commonly used for indexing and searching large amounts of data. While they share similarities, there are several key differences between the two.

  1. Data structure: Elasticsearch uses a JSON-based structure to store and index data, while Swiftype uses a schemaless format that is optimized for text search. This means that Elasticsearch provides more flexibility in terms of data modeling and querying, whereas Swiftype is built specifically for text-based data.

  2. Scalability and performance: Elasticsearch is designed to be highly scalable and can handle large amounts of data and high query loads. It utilizes a distributed architecture that allows for horizontal scaling across multiple nodes. On the other hand, Swiftype is a hosted service that offers scalable search functionality, but it may have some limitations in terms of performance and scalability compared to Elasticsearch.

  3. Customizability: Elasticsearch provides a highly customizable search experience, allowing users to configure various settings and parameters to tailor the search functionality to their specific needs. Swiftype, on the other hand, offers a more simplified and streamlined search experience with fewer customization options.

  4. Deployment: Elasticsearch can be self-hosted, meaning users have full control over their infrastructure and can deploy Elasticsearch on their own servers or cloud environment. Swiftype, on the other hand, is a hosted service managed by Elastic, the parent company of Elasticsearch. This means that users do not have to worry about infrastructure management and can focus solely on using the search functionality provided by Swiftype.

  5. Community and ecosystem: Elasticsearch has a large and active community, with a wide range of resources, plugins, and integrations available. This makes it easier for developers to find support and extend the functionality of Elasticsearch. Swiftype, being a proprietary service, has a smaller community and fewer resources available compared to Elasticsearch.

  6. Pricing: Elasticsearch offers an open-source version that is free to use, but there are additional costs involved for enterprise features and support. Swiftype, on the other hand, has a pricing model based on usage and offers different plans depending on the scale and requirements of the user.

In summary, Elasticsearch and Swiftype are both powerful search platforms, but Elasticsearch provides more flexibility, scalability, and customization options, while Swiftype offers a simpler, hosted solution with less customization and scalability. The choice between the two depends on the specific needs and requirements of the project.

Advice on Elasticsearch and Swiftype
Akhil Kumar Singh
software developer at arzooo · | 7 upvotes · 15.4K views

I want to design a search engine which can search with PAYMENT-ID, ORDER-ID, CUSTOMER-NAME, CUSTOMER-PHONE, STORE-NAME, STORE-NUMBER, RETAILER-NAME, RETAILER-NUMBER, RETAILER-ID, RETAILER-MARKETPLACE-ID.

All these details are stored in different tables like ORDERS, PAYMENTS, RETAILERS, STORES, CUSTOMERS, and INVOICES with relations. Right now we have only 10MBs of data with 20K records. So I need a scalable solution that can handle the search from all the tables mentioned and how can I make a dataset with so many tables with relations for search.

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Replies (1)
Christopher Wray
Web Developer at Soltech LLC · | 2 upvotes · 12.9K views

What e-commerce platform or framework are you using?

A lot of this depends on what your infrastructure already supports. Either of the options are a great choice so it comes down to what will be easiest to integrate and which search service is most affordable.

Elastic search is open source but you will need to configure and maintain it on your server. It may be more difficult to set up depending on the platform your app is built on.

Algolia has great documentation and is normally pretty easy to integrate but it can be pretty expensive.

I've never used Typsense but it seems like it would be a great option as well.

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André Ribeiro
at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro · | 4 upvotes · 49.1K views

Hi, community, I'm planning to build a web service that will perform a text search in a data set off less than 3k well-structured JSON objects containing config data. I'm expecting no more than 20 MB of data. The general traits I need for this search are: - Typo tolerant (fuzzy query), so it has to match the entries even though the query does not match 100% with a word on that JSON - Allow a strict match mode - Perform the search through all the JSON values (it can reach 6 nesting levels) - Ignore all Keys of the JSON; I'm interested only in the values.

The only thing I'm researching at the moment is Elasticsearch, and since the rest of the stack is on AWS the Amazon ElasticSearch is my favorite candidate so far. Although, the only knowledge I have on it was fetched from some articles and Q&A that I read here and there. Is ElasticSearch a good path for this project? I'm also considering Amazon DynamoDB (which I also don't know of), but it does not look to cover the requirements of fuzzy-search and ignore the JSON properties. Thank you in advance for your precious advice!

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Replies (3)
Ted Elliott

I think elasticsearch should be a great fit for that use case. Using the AWS version will make your life easier. With such a small dataset you may also be able to use an in process library for searching and possibly remove the overhead of using a database. I don’t if it fits the bill, but you may also want to look into lucene.

I can tell you that Dynamo DB is definitely not a good fit for your use case. There is no fuzzy matching feature and you would need to have an index for each field you want to search or convert your data into a more searchable format for storing in Dynamo, which is something a full text search tool like elasticsearch is going to do for you.

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Roel van den Brand
Lead Developer at Di-Vision Consultion · | 3 upvotes · 38.9K views
Recommends
on
Amazon AthenaAmazon Athena

Maybe you can do it with storing on S3, and query via Amazon Athena en AWS Glue. Don't know about the performance though. Fuzzy search could otherwise be done with storing a soundex value of the fields you want to search on in a MongoDB. In DynamoDB you would need indexes on every searchable field if you want it to be efficient.

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Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 3 upvotes · 37.6K views

The Amazon Elastic Search service will certainly help you do most of the heavy lifting and you won't have to maintain any of the underlying infrastructure. However, elastic search isn't trivial in nature. Typically, this will mean several days worth of work.

Over time and projects, I've over the years leveraged another solution called Algolia Search. Algolia is a fully managed, search as a service solution, which also has SDKs available for most common languages, will answer your fuzzy search requirements, and also cut down implementation and maintenance costs significantly. You should be able to get a solution up and running within a couple of minutes to an hour.

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Rana Usman Shahid
Chief Technology Officer at TechAvanza · | 6 upvotes · 375.4K views
Needs advice
on
AlgoliaAlgoliaElasticsearchElasticsearch
and
FirebaseFirebase

Hey everybody! (1) I am developing an android application. I have data of around 3 million record (less than a TB). I want to save that data in the cloud. Which company provides the best cloud database services that would suit my scenario? It should be secured, long term useable, and provide better services. I decided to use Firebase Realtime database. Should I stick with Firebase or are there any other companies that provide a better service?

(2) I have the functionality of searching data in my app. Same data (less than a TB). Which search solution should I use in this case? I found Elasticsearch and Algolia search. It should be secure and fast. If any other company provides better services than these, please feel free to suggest them.

Thank you!

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Replies (2)
Josh Dzielak
Co-Founder & CTO at Orbit · | 8 upvotes · 279.7K views
Recommends
on
AlgoliaAlgolia

Hi Rana, good question! From my Firebase experience, 3 million records is not too big at all, as long as the cost is within reason for you. With Firebase you will be able to access the data from anywhere, including an android app, and implement fine-grained security with JSON rules. The real-time-ness works perfectly. As a fully managed database, Firebase really takes care of everything. The only thing to watch out for is if you need complex query patterns - Firestore (also in the Firebase family) can be a better fit there.

To answer question 2: the right answer will depend on what's most important to you. Algolia is like Firebase is that it is fully-managed, very easy to set up, and has great SDKs for Android. Algolia is really a full-stack search solution in this case, and it is easy to connect with your Firebase data. Bear in mind that Algolia does cost money, so you'll want to make sure the cost is okay for you, but you will save a lot of engineering time and never have to worry about scale. The search-as-you-type performance with Algolia is flawless, as that is a primary aspect of its design. Elasticsearch can store tons of data and has all the flexibility, is hosted for cheap by many cloud services, and has many users. If you haven't done a lot with search before, the learning curve is higher than Algolia for getting the results ranked properly, and there is another learning curve if you want to do the DevOps part yourself. Both are very good platforms for search, Algolia shines when buliding your app is the most important and you don't want to spend many engineering hours, Elasticsearch shines when you have a lot of data and don't mind learning how to run and optimize it.

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Mike Endale
Recommends
on
Cloud FirestoreCloud Firestore

Rana - we use Cloud Firestore at our startup. It handles many million records without any issues. It provides you the same set of features that the Firebase Realtime Database provides on top of the indexing and security trims. The only thing to watch out for is to make sure your Cloud Functions have proper exception handling and there are no infinite loop in the code. This will be too costly if not caught quickly.

For search; Algolia is a great option, but cost is a real consideration. Indexing large number of records can be cost prohibitive for most projects. Elasticsearch is a solid alternative, but requires a little additional work to configure and maintain if you want to self-host.

Hope this helps.

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Decisions about Elasticsearch and Swiftype
Phillip Manwaring
Developer at Coach Align · | 5 upvotes · 36.4K views

The new pricing model Algolia introduced really sealed the deal for us on this one - much closer to pay-as-you-go. And didn't want to spend time learning more about hosting/optimizing Elasticsearch when that isn't our core business problem - would much rather pay others to solve that problem for us.

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Pros of Elasticsearch
Pros of Swiftype
  • 328
    Powerful api
  • 315
    Great search engine
  • 231
    Open source
  • 214
    Restful
  • 200
    Near real-time search
  • 98
    Free
  • 85
    Search everything
  • 54
    Easy to get started
  • 45
    Analytics
  • 26
    Distributed
  • 6
    Fast search
  • 5
    More than a search engine
  • 4
    Great docs
  • 4
    Awesome, great tool
  • 3
    Highly Available
  • 3
    Easy to scale
  • 2
    Potato
  • 2
    Document Store
  • 2
    Great customer support
  • 2
    Intuitive API
  • 2
    Nosql DB
  • 2
    Great piece of software
  • 2
    Reliable
  • 2
    Fast
  • 2
    Easy setup
  • 1
    Open
  • 1
    Easy to get hot data
  • 1
    Github
  • 1
    Elaticsearch
  • 1
    Actively developing
  • 1
    Responsive maintainers on GitHub
  • 1
    Ecosystem
  • 1
    Not stable
  • 1
    Scalability
  • 0
    Community
  • 8
    Very easy setup and highly customizable for your search
  • 1
    Easy setup
  • 1
    Analytics
  • 1
    Role devision to develop, design, manage

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Cons of Elasticsearch
Cons of Swiftype
  • 7
    Resource hungry
  • 6
    Diffecult to get started
  • 5
    Expensive
  • 4
    Hard to keep stable at large scale
  • 1
    Expensive
  • 1
    API Calls Monitoring/Alerts
  • 1
    Cost Prediction
  • 1
    Customer Support

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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).

What is Swiftype?

Swiftype is the easiest way to add great search to your website or mobile application.

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May 21 2019 at 12:20AM

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What are some alternatives to Elasticsearch and Swiftype?
Datadog
Datadog is the leading service for cloud-scale monitoring. It is used by IT, operations, and development teams who build and operate applications that run on dynamic or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Start monitoring in minutes with Datadog!
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.
Lucene
Lucene Core, our flagship sub-project, provides Java-based indexing and search technology, as well as spellchecking, hit highlighting and advanced analysis/tokenization capabilities.
MongoDB
MongoDB stores data in JSON-like documents that can vary in structure, offering a dynamic, flexible schema. MongoDB was also designed for high availability and scalability, with built-in replication and auto-sharding.
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.
See all alternatives