InfoWorld's Test Center picks the best open source applications of 2011
Apache Lucene and Solr
Do you need to find something quickly in a pile of documents? Practically every website needs some kind of search, and the most serious turn to the Lucene search engine and its server, Solr. Lucene is like a database, but for free-form documents loaded with text. If you want a document with a keyword, it will find it.
Lucene is not particularly new, but the team has been very productive lately. Versions 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 all arrived in the last few months, and they deliver a number of small but very useful improvements like a new index format, better spell checkers, simpler sharding, and faster queries.
As Lucene gets better, people are finding more unusual jobs for it. Twitter, for instance, uses Lucene for many of its keyword searching routines. When the main job was just delivering tweets to followers, there was no need for something like Lucene. But full keyword search makes hashtags and the complexity they bring possible.
The Bossies 2011 index:
This slideshow, "Bossie Awards 2011: The best open source applications," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in applications and open source at InfoWorld.com.