Dan's Take

Lucidworks Releases Fusion 3

The search and indexing platform upgrades include better collaboration tools.

Lucidworks recently released version 3 of its Fusion application development platform. The goal is to accelerate organizations' ability to "quickly deploy powerful search apps that index all your data and give end users a compelling, productive experience while scaling to billions of documents and millions of users." Fusion 3, according to Lucidworks, offers "organizations get greater operational simplicity, an accessible user interface, query simulation capabilities, and more." Here's a partial list of the Fusion 3 features Lucidworks touts:

  • Index Workbench. Fusion 3's Index Workbench makes it possible for teams to manage and organize processes that extract/load/transform data. It also offers a new preview feature that shows the impact of different configurations on the organization's collections before the data is actually indexed.
  • Query Workbench. Fusion 3's Query Workbench makes it easy for developers to create relevancy scoring configurations using a point and click approach. Specific results or conditions can be boosted in the index. This tool makes it possible for analysts and developers to tune results for increased relevance and test changes before they go to production.
  • Object Import/Export. The tool now offers the ability to export, import, and share the heart of a Fusion app or configuration. Collection configurations, pipeline setups, schedule listings, aggregation settings, dashboard layouts, and other objects can all be easily shared, and users will be able to replicate configurations from development to quality assurance to staging to production.
  • SQL Everywhere. Rather than requiring developers to learn a new set of commands and operators to create new search applications, Fusion 3 includes full SQL compatibility. Developers can now query the index with familiar SQL commands.
Dan's Take: Surfing the Data Waves
Organizations are facing huge waves of data coming from just about every direction. This data must be filtered, refined, organized and reported on quickly enough so that the organization can find emerging trends and develop processes to address the ever-changing requirements they face.

The same data might contain hints about upcoming problems or solutions to problems that are already known. Unfortunately, organizations have smaller and smaller windows of time turn raw data into information, and turn information into organizational learning before they face competitive threats from other suppliers. Enterprises are seeking ways to get ahead of the wave and not drown.

Lucidworks isn't the only company focusing on these customer issues, of course. Nor is it the only supplier that has built on the base of the Apache Lucene/Solr enterprise indexing and search platform. Other suppliers, including Docker, Drupal and Hortonworks have built custom solutions and/or have linked Lucene and Solr to their enterprise search tools.

Other competitors have developed their own search engines and tools, including (but not limited to):

  • Commvault
  • Concept Searching Limited
  • Coveo
  • Dassault Systèmes (which acquired Exalead)
  • Dieselpoint, Inc.
  • dtSearch Corp.
  • EMC Corp.
  • Exorbyte GmbH
  • Expert System S.p.A.
  • Exterro, Inc.
  • HPE
  • Google
  • IBM

All these companies are working to address enterprise search requirements. That being said, the Lucidworks has been on my radar for a while. Their demonstrations are slick, and give the impression that they've spoken with customers to determine their business requirements and -- equally importantly -- enterprise staffing and expertise limitations. On occasion, I've had the opportunity to speak with a few of their customers at various industry events, and have gotten the impression that the company has a good reputation among their customers.

The company's work to build upon Apache Lucene and Solr open source products and produce useful tools for enterprises rather than forcing them to create "computer science projects" to get their work accomplished has been noteworthy.

As enterprises increasingly find themselves deluged by more and more data, and needing to be able to quickly and easily wade through that data again and again to answer specific questions about customer requirements and opportunities for new products and services, open source tools such as Apache Lucene and Solr are becoming increasingly important.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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