Which module do I want to be using? What are the differences? Is there a comparison somewhere? Should I use both modules together?



doughold’s picture

As far as I know, Solr requires server configuration in that you need to have Solr installed an listening on a port on the server, whereas this module is all Drupal.

dnewkerk’s picture

If you don't have a VPS or dedicated server (since Solr requires that you install server applications that a shared host will not have), then the only way you'll be able to use Solr is through Acquia's Solr Search service (which I believe is in private beta right now, and will have some sort of cost involved when released). My understanding from what Robert Douglass has said in his DIWD video and the Lullabot podcast, as well as some advice someone offered when I asked about it in IRC... if your site is small and low traffic, then Faceted Search is the better choice: it has more features currently, and also is possible to install on a shared server like any normal Drupal module (though be careful not to anger your shared host if you know your site has a lot of traffic). If your site is larger, then Faceted Search may be too intense for your database to handle, as MySQL is not an ideal technology for doing this in a high-performance way. So in that case Solr would be a better bet for you. Robert mentioned that the maintainer of Faceted Search is helping to bring UI and functionality from Faceted Search into Solr, so eventually I believe Solr will end up both the higher performing and equally or better featured option (but still limited only to those who can meet the server requirements, so it would not replace Faceted Search for many users). Solr evidently has tons of additional functionality possible that is not yet "exposed" in the Drupal module, but will be over time.

David Lesieur’s picture

Thanks Keyz for the excellent answer. It is true that I will soon be working on adding features to ApacheSolr, many of those inspired by Faceted Search. I will also continue to maintain Faceted Search as it can be a simpler solution for many smaller sites.

Ariesto’s picture

Can I get a better idea of what the definition of a "small site" is? My site will eventually have about 1,500 users with probably a range of 0 to 220 users a day. Node creation will mainly consist as forum posts. My site is in development with zero users, so I can't do a benchmark test...

I am currently on a VPS, should I save myself the time figuring out the Faceted Search and install the Solr search right now?

David Lesieur’s picture

The issue is more related to the number of nodes than the number of users. Results will vary depending on your configuration, but I would not use Faceted Search with 10k nodes or more. With less than 10k nodes, I would certainly test before committing myself.

Solr will always run faster than Faceted Search. If it has the right feature set for you and if you can install it, it might be a good idea to use it. :-)

See also: #347952: Database Load

honorfield’s picture

Hey all!
I just started using Drupal a month ago and had never any experience with a CMS before. It was a bit of work to set up Drupal on my local server and on my hosts server. But i could figure it out and now it runs very well and i'm excited about my new toy:)
Now i came to a point were i stuck again.
I just don't understand how solr works. I run my website on a VPS server. But how do i get solr working there? All the instructions and tutorials i found are greek to me. I don't know were to start. Do i need to instal tomcat first to run solr? Can i just create a folder on my VPS and put all the files in there? Or do i have to use command line?
Please, i would be very happy about any hint your guys can give me. I just need a point to start.

Kind regards

gorlov’s picture

I don't think anyone can help you unless you provide some details of your VPS, like what OS is runs. (And do you really administer your own VPS?). That said, there are some very detailed and explicit instructions for installing the entire stack on Ubuntu 8 and 9. Other linuxes will have similar but different ways to install things (apt-get on Ubuntu and Debian, yum on Centos, pkg_add -r or make install clean on FreeBSD). You don't need Tomcat, only Java. Installing Java varies GREATLY from OS to OS and even from version to version (even point versions).

David Latapie’s picture

I second that: excellent and comprehensive answer. It should be added to any Solr/Faceted search FAQ!

j0rd’s picture

Apache Solr seems to only override default search.

In Facetted Search you seem to be able to search many search streams and filter / display the results with views. It does not appear Apache Solr supports this.

So essentially Apache Solr module can only replace default search out of the box, where as Facetted Search seems to be a useful solution to filter/sort your views.

Apache Solr is working towards something like this, but it will require an additional module and views 3, both of which are under development. I find this a very disappointing short coming for apache solr.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

EvanDonovan’s picture

Title: Faceted Search vs Solr? » Faceted Search vs. Apache Solr module: Strengths & Weaknesses

j0rd: Your summary is excellent. A few months ago, I tried migrating from Faceted Search to Solr and discovered that even though months have passed and Views 3 is much closer to being done, it's still immensely difficult to get the UI of Faceted Search using Solr, since Solr focuses on keyword searching not searching through clicking links on terms from a given facet.

There's a module on Github called Apache Solr Panels which looks like it could give Solr more flexibility (without requiring Views 3), but is still in an early stage, and I gave up trying to figure out how to get it to output the taxonomy terms for a facet.

On IRC, the maintainer of Apache Solr Views told me that I could create a view for Views 3 which listed the terms with results in a given facet by writing an "area handler" to output the HTML, but I did not have the time to do so, so I am still using Faceted Search, despite the dramatic performance difference.

If you use Faceted Search on a site with >10,000 nodes, I recommend using at least 2 layers of caching: something like Boost or Varnish for anonymous users (not core page caching since that hits the database), and then Views caching for the Faceted Search views for logged-in users.

EvanDonovan’s picture

So this issue can be closed, it might be good to combine the various responses into a page in the Faceted Search section of the Drupal Handbook, if there is one, and then link to the handbook page on the project page.

dparizek’s picture

Except Apache Solr integration into Drupal has come a long ways since, and is now a very viable - really superior - option, if you are able to install solr on your server.

EvanDonovan’s picture

@dparizek: How's the views integration? I understand that for D7 still very limited, not sure for D6.

gladiator84’s picture

im still a little new to drupal and just stumbled upon faceted search and apache solr for search capabilities. i think the strength of faceted search is the filtering capabilities centered around taxonomy which i don't believe solr has at the moment. currently im using ubercart for a small online store and i think faceted search is what im looking for. only problem is i cant find any really in depth tutorials on the subject matter i.e. setting up faceted search with an example, images showing the admin interface, etc. anyone have any good ones they can share?

ajagadees’s picture

Can anyone suggest some reference links to build Faceted search with Jquery in Drupal 7?