Introducing TellusR for Solr search enhancements

The Solr dashboard
The Solr dashboard with various technical details

TellusR to the rescue

So we set out to create a dashboard that could make Solr useful for both techies and webshop managers: show graphs for conversions per search, alert about searches that yield zero hits, give information about what search terms are trending etc. We also wanted to enable non-tech staff to add synonyms to a Solr search or to elevate certain search terms or use some of the other features of Solr that are otherwise only available to those who know the Solr vocabulary and master the art of XML editing.

The TellusR/Central gives you a clear view of the usage of your Solr installation
  • Most of the code is Kotlin, which we found to be the easiest way to write safe and efficient code that would interoperate easily with the Solr kernel
  • Although normal Solr plugins are simple jar files inserted in a given folder, TellusR is almost an ecosystem of its own, so we use docker to be able to supply all the functions without interfering with other setups on your server
  • We improve the Solr search itself using word vectors built with neural networks
  • We improve the Solr autocompleter in your search box using n-grams to analyze input words, which gives a better fault-tolerance
  • We embed an A/B-tester within TellusR, so you can try out different configurations for your search and know what works by looking at the numbers instead of just trusting your gut feeling
  • We surveil query time in searches, so you’ll see any slowness right away
  • We register all query activity, so you can find out if you’re making the big zero-hit mistake (and if so, remedy it)

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