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Apache Solr 3 Enterprise Search Server Paperback – November 10, 2011

2.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born to code, David Smiley is a senior software engineer, book author, conference speaker, and instructor. He has 12 years of experience in the defense industry at MITRE, specializing in Java and Web technologies. David is the principal author of "Solr 1.4 Enterprise Search Server", the first book on Solr, published by PACKT in 2009. He also developed and taught a two-day course on Solr for MITRE. David plays a lead technical role in a large-scale Solr project in which he has implemented geospatial search based on geohash prefixes, wildcard ngram query parsing, searching multiple multi-valued fields at coordinated positions, part-of-speech search using Lucene payloads, and other things. David consults as a Solr expert on numerous projects for MITRE and its government sponsors. He has contributed code to Lucene and Solr and is active in the open-source community. Prior to his Solr work, David first used Lucene back in 2000, as well as Hibernate-Search and Compass since then. He also used the competing Endeca commercial product, too, but hopes to never use it again.



Fascinated by the 'craft' of software development, Eric Pugh has been heavily involved in the open source world as a developer, committer, and user for the past five years. He is an emeritus member of the Apache Software Foundation and lately has been mulling over how we solve the problem of finding answers in datasets when we don't know the questions ahead of time to ask.

In biotech, financial services, and defense IT, he has helped European and American companies develop coherent strategies for embracing open source search software. As a speaker, he has advocated the advantages of Agile practices with a focus on testing in search engine implementation.

Eric became involved with Solr when he submitted the patch SOLR-284 for Parsing Rich Document types such as PDF and MS Office formats that became the single most popular patch as measured by votes! The patch was subsequently cleaned up and enhanced by three other individuals, demonstrating the power of the open source model to build great code collaboratively. SOLR-284 was eventually refactored into Solr Cell as part of Solr version 1.4.

He blogs at opensourceconnections.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (November 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849516065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849516068
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,853,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Please be rest assured that this is an Amazon verified purchase. I have read plenty of technical books especially software engineering books. This book is a perfect example of how not to write a book. Stay with me: If you truly want to learn Solr in depth, I am going to direct you to a much better guide at the end of my review. I wasted 50 bucks on this book.

Why is this book bad? Fundamentally because the authors have made assumptions & you know what they say about assumptions. First this book says, only basic programming skills required. It assumes you know XML (most people do, but why assume). Just tell them to learn XML say from W3Schools where you can learn it in a couple of hours. Next, this book takes you into a jungle where you need to have a genius IQ in order to survive. It jumps from schema to indexing, tokenization, etc. within 3 pages. These topics require their own chapters (which it eventually provides but leaves you with little motivation to reach there after the initial barrage). Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against this book. I tried to be as patient as possible for a week. I spent time trying to understand the crux of every page after reading it. But nay, this book was hell bent on making a simple topic IMPOSSIBLE and THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED.

The problem for me was Solr was an essential part of the application I had to develop & I had to learn it one way after another. After several painful days, I came across this free ebook online quiet possibly written by the same people who wrote Lucene in Action. Since Amazon won't allow me to post URLs here are the steps:

1. "Advance" Search on Google to return results of the type "pdf"
2. Type the search term "Apache Solr tutorial"
3. Somewhere in the middle of the first page of results you will see a url starting with mywebspace. The book is titled Apache Solr Reference Guide by lucidworks for Solr. This book will make it at least 10 times easier to learn Solr.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be useless for any quick understanding and onboarding to Solr platform. This book is more like bunch of pointers to various online resources. Some of the advanced topics are very brief - hardly half page content, which was available on Solr Wiki anyway. I did not learn anything new from this book and I feel that the $50 price is just cheating.
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The book has a lot of information, but to me was not very useful as examples given was not explained in detail or clearly. Would want to see more examples, screen shots. If you are already using and developing in solr, then this book may provide you with some additional information or tips.
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I definitely think that this is the best Solr book available at the moment. I would thus recommend this book.

There are some annoying things though. For example, they use the MusicBrainz database as an example throughout the book, but if you set up your own MusicBrainz SQL database to try the scripts in the example code, you will find that the SQL queries are made for an old version of the MusicBrainz database schema, so they won't work out of the box. They do include sample data in CSV format though, so most of the examples work.
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One of the worst programming book I have ever bought.
Hard to understand, and mostly copy and paste from online sources.
At the time I bought it there was not much choice, but now looks like Solr In Action is the definitive reference.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with all lucene/solr books, the instant a new version of either package comes out, things just don't work anymore. If you are using Solr 3, fine. If not, then you have to figure out the differences from the book. It does explain stuff though, and minimizes the need to wade through the Solr docs, but care has to be taken if the version of Solr you use doesn't match the version of the book.
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