Commercial vs Open Source Search
September 29, 2010
Open source platforms have become a familiar and welcome face in the search and faceting arena. The posting “I Was at a Search Vendor Round Table Today” on the ListWare blog is an interesting and at times comical round table discussion about the free search application Solr and how it compares to its big name competitors. Solr is an open source search server that provides individuals with various advanced search and faceting capabilities. Faceted searches are search results broken down into multiple categories and users have the ability to restrict certain information depending on the facets. Representatives from Autonomy, Microsoft, Google, Vivisimo, and Endeca attempted to explain why consumers needed to pay for their big name multi-feature programs. One memorable quote was “open source is as free as a free puppy.”
We agree with the arguments summarized in this article. We also are cognizant of the interest in open source search solutions. The Lucene Revolution, a conference focused on open source search, is—we have heard—nearly sold out. We are watching the boundaries of open source search and commercial search. There are strong arguments on both sides. Toss in commoditization and some search vendors deemphasizing search for licensing connectors or abandoning the search market altogether, and the situation is fluid.
April Holmes, September 29, 2010