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



2 Responses to “Commercial vs Open Source Search”

  1. julia on September 29th, 2010 8:01 am

    The posting is quite intersting as faceted search is a dynamic feature of open source search.Solr is an open source search server that provides individuals with various advanced search and faceting can join the some new topica related to solr/lucene at Lucene Revolution,for more info log into:

  2. Kimberlee Morrison on October 4th, 2010 1:43 pm

    As a general rule, its true that you get what you pay for. Nothing wrong with open source when it works but sometimes you have to put your money where your search is. The CEO of, parent company for World Vital Records, discussed this topic in a recent review of the Perfect Search Appliance (

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