Who is LucidWorks and what do you do?
LucidWorks is the only company that delivers an enterprise-grade search development platform built on the power of Apache Lucene/Solr open source search. Out of the 35 Core Committers to the Apache Lucene/Solr project, 9 individuals work for LucidWorks, making the company the largest supporter of open source search in the industry. Customers include AT&T, Sears, Ford, Verizon, Cisco, Zappos, Raytheon, The Guardian, The Smithsonian Institution, Salesforce.com, The Motley Fool, Qualcomm, Taser, eHarmony and many other household names around the world. Lucid Imagination investors include Shasta Ventures, Granite Ventures, Walden International, and In-Q-Tel. The LucidWorks founding team consists of several key contributors and committers to the Lucene project, as well as experts in enterprise search software development.
What happened to Lucid Imagination?
On August 08, 2012, the company changed its name from Lucid Imagination to LucidWorks. Prior to this name change, the company and products were known by two individually separate names (company – Lucid Imagination and products – LucidWorks), making branding twice the effort. We found that the company was already continually being referred to as “LucidWorks” so we made the business decision to rename the company to match our products. Today the company and names match as LucidWorks, making us easier to do business with.
I thought open source software was free – why is there a company?
The open source software movement has gained significant momentum in recent years as more and more companies embrace and adopt open source principles for software development. People often cite three major reasons for choosing open source software over proprietary software: cost, no vendor lock-in, and quality. For these reasons, many organizations and companies, large and small, have adopted an open-source friendly posture.
LucidWorks, as the commercial-entity behind open source Apache Lucene/Solr, helps companies adopt open source search by providing the management tools, connectors, security, and other very important services necessary to make Lucene/Solr open source search fit into the IT ecosystem. By helping companies adopt open source Lucene/Solr, LucidWorks remains true to core open source principles, while adding value to the ease of adoption of the platform and extracting reasonable revenues in exchange for these additional capabilities and services. With 9 of the 35 core committers of Lucene/Solr on staff at LucidWorks, we also give back to the community by extending the core capabilities of what has become the world’s largest open source search platform. Further any version of LucidWorks Search will have incorporated the most recent version of Lucene/Solr. In many cases prior to its general availability to the community.
What resources do you offer and where do I find them?
LucidWorks maintains two public websites – one devoted to the open source search community, and the other to LucidWorks’ products and services. Both sites contain a substantial body of knowledge and provide free resources to the community. The following is a partial listing of resources with linked to the appropriate pages.
Does LucidWorks work with partners?
Yes, LucidWorks partners with a variety of open source foundations and companies as well as commercial entities delivering value-added software and services around the world. For an up-to-date listing of LucidWorks partners, click here.
What is open source search?
There are many search products and platforms available in the market today. As organizations and companies elect to use open source products over proprietary software, there have been a number of open source search projects that have sought to fill this gap. The largest of these projects is the Apache Lucene/Solr project which has been adopted by companies such as AT&T, Sears, Ford, Verizon, Cisco, Zappos, Raytheon, The Guardian, The Smithsonian Institution, Salesforce.com, The Motley Fool, Qualcomm, Taser, eHarmony and many others. The technical community advancing Lucene/Solr is comprised of many highly skilled and technology savvy engineers that work for leading organizations of all types. Together, these committers combine their collective knowledge and skills to maintain Lucene/Solr as one of the most popular and frequently downloaded open source project within the Apache Software Foundation.
What is a committer and why should I care about where they work?
An open source project committer is usually a lead developer of an open source project. Typically, committers are either project founders, developers appointed by the project founders, or voted into the role by the community. Committers are responsible for writing the majority of code for a project as well as for the review of patches submitted by the community. The fact that LucidWorks employs about 25% of the committers to the Apache Lucene/Solr project benefits LucidWorks customers since it helps ensure the platform evolves consistently with customer needs and use cases. In addition, the large number of LucidWorks committers allows the company to freely give code back to the community.
What is LucidWorks’ relationship to Apache?
The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of open source software projects. LucidWorks is a commercial entity that contributes back to Apache and also extends the Apache Lucene/Solr project with the LucidWorks Platform. In addition to offering the LucidWorks Search platform, LucidWorks offers training, support and other professional services for organizations and companies adopting Lucene/Solr.
What is the difference between Lucene and Solr – do I need both?
Lucene is a high-performance, full-featured text search engine library written entirely in Java. It is a technology suitable for nearly any application that requires full-text search. Built on top of the Lucene library, Solr is a search server platform that offers powerful full-text search. It provides hit highlighting, faceted search, dynamic clustering, database integration, rich document (e.g., Word, PDF) handling, and geospatial search. Solr is highly scalable, providing distributed search and index replication, and it powers the search and navigation features of many of the world’s largest internet sites. The basics of Solr can be installed and used by a technical user without deep programming knowledge whereas Lucene requires a very technical and knowledgeable developer. The right one for you depends on your application and skill. In general, Solr gets more interest and attention as it is an actual server that can be more easily adopted than Lucene.
Where do I get Lucene/Solr distributions?
Apache Lucene and Solr are available at: http://lucene.apache.org/
How do Hadoop and Mahout fit into Lucene/Solr open source search?
The Apache Hadoop software library is a framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using a simple programming model. It is designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage. The Hadoop ecosystem includes a number of subprojects that augment the Hadoop core. Some of the more well known of these include HDFS, which is a distributed file system to handle large amounts of application data, MapReduce, which is a software framework for distributing large data sets on compute clusters, and Mahout, which is a scalable machine learning and data mining library. Much of the information stored within a Hadoop file system is unstructured, making it unpractical to use SQL-based tools as a way to search this information. Lucene/Solr open source search allows unstructured information maintained within Hadoop file systems to be searched based on key-word(s) and patterns.
LucidWorks Big Data leverages the Hadoop ecosystem, including 3rd party products such as Cloudera, MapR and Hortonworks, to bring open source search to large and massively-large data sets. The product has been designed to provide a comprehensive Big Data application development platform by integrating additional key Apache projects such as ZooKeeper, Pig and HDFS into the solution.
Where do I get more information on open source search?
What are the different kinds of search products available today and where does LucidWorks Search fit?
The search software landscape has been traditionally divided into three categories: desktop search, enterprise search, and web search – in reference to the targets where these products are directed. As search technologies have evolved, these distinctions are losing importance since most single search products can now be directed at all of these targets. Most vendors of search software use a mix of proprietary methodologies for acquiring data, indexing data, and searching the index.
LucidWorks is an open source-based alternative to proprietary search software. LucidWorks adds security, graphical administration, and a connector framework to Apache Lucene/Solr open to bring open source search to the enterprise. Several name-brand companies such as AT&T, Sears, Ford, Verizon, Cisco, Zappos and many others have standardized on open source search for their businesses.
Is enterprise search dead?
While enterprise search got off to a very big start in the last decade with the entrance of a host of vendors, corporate adoption was a bit slower than anticipated. As a result, many of the original entrants to the space were acquired by the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, HP and IBM, who have now built these offerings into their individual product suites. Although this might sound like a great idea, the reality is that these vendors have narrowed their development focus to address their individual business models. The need for search has grown in recent years, as users of software are accustom to finding information in any application using a search function. With the advent of cloud computing and the rise of Big Data, enterprise search has been enjoying a renaissance. Companies are realizing that a big data strategy must include a search technology to unlock their large data stores.
What products do you sell?
LucidWorks currently has 2 products available in the marketplace. LucidWorks Search, which is an extension of Apache Lucene/Solr designed to fit in a wide-range of environments, and LucidWorks Big Data, which unlocks the large data stores that enterprises are amassing.
How do I get your products?
LucidWorks Search and LucidWorks big data are available by contacting LucidWorks or through a network of authorized partners around the world.
I’m just doing research - are there free trials available?
LucidWorks Search is available for download for free for development, test integration, demo and instructional use.
What is the difference between Lucene/Solr and LucidWorks Search?
Since LucidWorks employs many of the committers to the Lucene/Solr project, we can offer current, stable releases of Lucene/Solr integrated into LucidWorks. However, LucidWorks also has added tools and capabilities that ease the adoption of Lucene/Solr, such as security, a management console, and connector frameworks. Combining LucidWorks added value capabilities with Lucene/Solr produces a winning combination that adheres to IT standards.
What is the difference between LucidWorks Search and LucidWorks Big Data?
Built on top of LucidWorks Search, LucidWorks Big Data certifies and integrates and all of the Apache open source components necessary to produce and manage a big data application, including Hadoop, Mahout, HBase, Zookeeper, Pig, Kafka, Oozie, Restlet, Behemoth, etc.
What do you mean by pre-integrated and certified distributions?
Open source search and big data require a number of component parts to make it all work. For companies wanting to leverage open source products for embedded search or big data applications, they can choose to download LucidWorks certified versions of each component part. read through the documentation to see which versions are compatible with each other, leverage APIs to get the components to talk with one another, then test that everything is working well together. As an alternative, companies can download LucidWorks Search and start building applications. LucidWorks has done all of the heavy lifting for customers and lets them get right to work.
What kind of data can be searched – are there connectors available with LucidWorks Search?
LucidWorks can connect to Hadoop HDFS and Amazon EC2 S3, as well as databases with XML, JSON, HTML, and file systems, in addition to including support for most popular file formats. Custom connectors can be built for other data/content repositories.
Can I deploy LucidWorks on premise or in the cloud?
Yes. LucidWorks Search and LucidWorks Big Data both support on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployment models.
What services does LucidWorks offer?
LucidWorks offers a broad range of resources and services for open source search including:
- Support for Lucene, Solr, LucidWorks Search and LucidWorks Big Data
- Training through LucidWorks University
- Advisory Services through ExpertLink
- Consulting Services
- Authorized Partner network
- Subscription Service
Can I get support for Apache Lucene/Solr?
LucidWorks offers an array of support packages for both Lucene/Solr and for LucidWorks Search.
How do I contact Support?
LucidWorks offers customer support through a self-service portal. There you can log new tickets, interact with the LucidWork’s technical support group about existing tickets and make suggestions for improvement by filing feature requests. In the near future, a full-fledged knowledge base will be deployed, along with forums will allow you to search for solutions and interact with the user community.
What are your support packages?
LucidWorks offers an array of support packages for both Lucene/Solr and for LucidWorks Search.
Can I get training outside of the US?
Yes. LucidWorks has a network of certified training partners that deliver training around the world. See the training schedule to find a class that meets your needs. In addition, LucidWorks offers on-site training for groups.
Can my team get trained at our offices?
LucidWorks offers on-site training for groups. Contact LucidWorks for more information.
How do I check course availability and sign up?
See the LucidWorks training pages to see the current class offerings around the world and reserve your spot.
Is Lucene Revolution a corporate event?
LucidWorks hosts Lucene Revolution and Lucene EuroCon each year on behalf of the Lucene/Solr community. This annual event is packed with technical sessions, developer content, user case studies, panels, and networking opportunities. Lucene Revolution features the thought leaders building and deploying Lucene/Solr open source search technology. Compelling speakers and unmatched networking opportunities create a unique community of practice and experience, so you too can unlock the power, versatility and cost-effective capabilities of search across industries, data, and applications.
Where and when are Lucene Revolution events held?
Lucene Revolution is typically held in late spring in the United States and in late autumn in Europe. The next Lucene Revolution will run in conjunction with ApacheCon in Sinsheim, Germany, November 5-9, 2012. The next U.S. date has not yet been set.
Is there training associated with Revolution?
Yes. Training is normally offered at the start of each Lucene Revolution. At the last conference, LucidWorks offered “Solr Unleashed”, “Solr Under the Hood” and “Scaling Search with Big Data and Solr”.
Is Revolution the only place I can meet with my Search peers?
No. LucidWorks offers a series of meetups in cities around the world. See the DevZone for details on how you can either find a meetup near you, or arrange for one to happen.
Are there any videos or presentations available from past Revolution events?
Where do I find technical information about Lucene/Solr?
The LucidWorks website currently offers a SearchHub portal where you will find technical information about Apache Lucene/Solr.
Where do I find technical information about your products?