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Mixed Results: Federated Search in Drupal

Backend & Dev-ops
Audience Experience Level
Drupal Intermediate

Apache Solr is a powerful search platform for providing full-text search with modern features like facets, hit highlighting, and rich document handling. Solr integrates well with Drupal, for example using contrib modules like Search API and Search API Solr. But what happens when the client wants to replace a search solution like Google Search Appliance, that can provide integrated results from multiple sites? This case study describes a project that combined Solr with Apache Nutch, an open source web crawler, to provide federated search results within a Drupal site that come from both within the Drupal site and from other client-owned sites. We'll talk about what worked, what didn't, and the surprises we encountered along the way.