Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is a leading solution for creating digital customer experiences and Apache Solr Search is the highly reliable and configurable, scalable and open source enterprise search platform that powers the navigation for the world’s largest internet sites. Together, these technologies can be combined to develop even better cutting-edge digital customer experiences. This post looks at why you may want to incorporate AEM and Solr into a comprehensive enterprise solution, and provides the top 6 reasons for using a Solr as a Service option for your Solr Infrastructure needs in your next AEM implementation.
Adobe Experience Manager and Search
Adobe Experience Manager or AEM is one of the top digital experience platforms (DXP) and is consistently ranked as a leader at the top of Gartner’s DXP Magic Quadrant. AEM gives organizations the power to develop exceptional customer experiences for digital marketing and e-commerce solutions.
AEM is based on the Apache Jackrabbit Oak platform which provides out of the box indexing and search services. While the basic Oak indexing and searching for AEM is powerful, there are some areas where Oak search presents a challenge and there are some popular features that are not available at all.
On the challenge front, performance issues have been known to arise as the number of indexed documents and size of indexes increase, where there searches for mixed content or where complex queries impact the website caches. Features not availabile in AEM Oak include: natural language search, keywords indexing, query elevation, geospatial search and query suggestions and spelling.
If you are dealing with any of these challenges or issues, your other option is to consider the Solr open source search platform. Some other interesting and desirable features of Solr include: advanced full-text search, near real-time indexes, faceted search and filtering, query suggestions and spelling, geospatial search and rich document parsing.
Implementing Adobe Experience Manager and Solr
Implementing a Solr infrastructure with Adobe Experience Manager can be a complicated and time-consuming endeavor. The initial setup for Solr includes building clusters, monitoring and alerting, log management, backup setup and testing and building disaster recovery. Ongoing support for the Solr environment includes scaling, upgrades, production support and backup and recovery.
There are two ways that organizations typically develop, manage and maintain their Solr infrastructure with Adobe Experience Manager.
Until recently, the more traditional and only option was to take a do-it-yourself or DIY approach to building the Solr environment. The DIY approach costs days of effort and thousands of dollars of expense and more importantly, diverts developers’ attention to tasks that they may not be familiar with or don’t perform very often or well.
This other approach is to solve for Solr infrastructure through a Managed Solr or Solr-as-a-Service solution that offloads the effort to a experienced vendor and lets your developers focus on value-added activities such as building a better search experience rather than dealing with the mundane operational details associated with the Solr infrastructure.