New Alfresco Faceted Search by Ixxus Delivers Enhanced Enterprise Content Search

Ixxus has announced that it is contributing a valuable new tool which integrates the powerful faceted search capabilities of Apache Solr into Alfresco 4.

The contribution will aid Alfresco in fulfilling the ‘Smart Search' requirements of its 2012 Product Road Map, enhancing functionality and discoverability using metadata-driven; faceted searching. The contributed tool will be made available under an open source license in 2013, to be freely used and modified by other members of the Alfresco community.

John Powell, CEO for Alfresco commented, “Built on the foundation of Alfresco with combined code expertise from Ixxus, we are excited to collaborate on the new faceted based search against its rich content modelling capabilities. We are looking forward to extending this new feature so global organisations can greatly improve the discoverability of content and search results.”

“Ixxus has a high pedigree in search, and many of our clients had expressed an interest in faceted search within Alfresco,” said Steve Odart, CEO at Ixxus, “We’re offering this functionality to existing Ixxus customers now and are pleased to say that we’ll also be contributing the code to future releases of Alfresco.”

Fast, Scalable, Open Source

Faceted search is a powerful search feature that allows users to explore content in the Alfresco repository by applying multiple filters to search results. The choice of filters (facets) available is relevant to the search results and can be applied or removed post-search, meaning that they are more flexible and intuitive than the current pre-search filters. This hugely enhances the end-user’s search experience; which is highly valuable particularly to enterprises dealing with large amounts of content, or delivering a web-based content service.

Search scenarios which have been implemented by the Ixxus code include:

  • Property value facets, including properties on custom models and facets
  • Property date-ranges as facets
  • Content type facets
  • Mime-type facets

“Alfresco's search capabilities have always been strong thanks to its use of the Lucene toolkit, but the recent switch to Solr unleashes a raft of powerful new possibilities,” stated Dan Tuffery, the Ixxus consultant who led the feature development. “This Ixxus contribution to Alfresco targets a long asked for feature: massively improved user experience by guiding searches using Solr facets.”

Dan Tuffery will be speaking about this exciting new tool at DevCon 2012 which is being held in Berlin this year. Dan was recently awarded first place in the 2012 Alfresco Dashlets Challenge; whereby he produced a dashlet that shows the search terms that have been executed in Alfresco, along with a number of filters that give users control over what search terms are displayed. The search terms are represented in a tag cloud and are weighted by how many times the search has been executed. Each search term in the dashlet is a link that when selected will execute a search.