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Apache Solr Search Mastery

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
304 Phase2 Technology

Presented by

James McKinney (jpmckinney)
Evolving Web
Robert Douglass (robertDouglass)
Peter Wolanin (pwolanin)
Under the HoodUnder the Hood
Technical details: Study servers, Drupal core, module building, and more.

This session is for those who are excited by the great power of Apache Solr search for Drupal and want to take things even further. Do you want take complete control over your search interface and offer more than the default features? Have you ever wondered what it takes to add data to your search index? Curious about defining facets, custom sorting, or making cool new widgets for filtering and faceting? Join us for a technical deep dive into the world of Solr search.

Introducing the Solr index

  • Learn about Solr fields, and how to map Drupal data onto them
  • See how to add data to the search index
  • Execute a search in PHP code and use the results

Search results, you're beautiful

  • Find out what it takes to customize your search results
  • See a gallery of beautiful search interfaces to inspire you

UX bliss with custom search widgets

  • Select filters from a tag cloud, select box, autocomplete box, map, slider, or calendar.
  • Tailor interfaces for each section of your search: have pictures on the photo tab, video players on the video tab, etc.
  • Display the current filters in a way that integrates seamlessly into your theme.

And a whole lot more Solr goodness

  • Custom facets: facet videos by length, size, or quality.
  • Custom sorts: sort events by start date, or players by high score.
  • Make everything super-responsive with AJAX.

This session will be code-intensive and assumes basic familiarity with Solr. We'll present examples of what you can do with Solr, and then implement them in a series of small iterations.

The presenters are planning to cover some of the advanced material before hand. For the first post about customizing search access see:

For another post about adding multiple custom search paths using a hook_menu technique, see: More posts to follow by the weekend!

For Robert Douglass' post, see:

Experience: Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
Industry: education, entertainment, library, marketing, media, non-profit
Tags: Apache Solr, Code, search, solr, theming, user interface


I have done *a lot* of work with Solr and Drupal. I am always hungry for more...

If there are any specific topics you are excited to hear about, please let us know!

I have only worked with Solr and the Drupal integration modules for one customer, which was more of a repair than an original development job. I did get a closer look at Solr+Drupal while setting up dev and stage environments. However, my direct tweaking of Solr's use within Drupal was minimal. Is this level of experience going to be a sufficient starting place to really get enough out of this session?

Some words about file- and attachment-indexing would be nice!

@jyg I think you'll learn a lot by coming to this talk. It sounds like you know enough about Solr to not get lost :)

Be sure to download Solr 1.4 if you have not already!