General tips & tricks in designing schemas.

Mapping databases to Solr. Solr provides one table. Storing a set database tables in an index generally requires denormalizing some of the tables.

Sorting There are two ways of sorting available in Solr 1.4.

Lucene sort and field types:

The Solr sort parameter uses the Lucene sorting tool. This creates an array containing an entry for every document in the index. Sorting is then done against this array. This array is cached across requests and so repeated sorts are fast. If the field type is 'integer' the array contains only that int and thus is 4 bytes * the number of documents. If the field type is anything else, this integer array is created and then a separate array is also created with much more data (??) per entry. Sorting is also slower if the type is not an 'integer'.

However, range checks do not work on an 'integer' field. If you want range checks and fast sorting, you can create a pair of fields, one of each type, with a copyField directive:

 <field name="popularity" type="sint" indexed="true" stored="true" multiValued="false"/>
 <field name="popularitySort" type="integer" indexed="true" stored="false" />
 ...
 <copyField source="popularity" dest="popularitySort"/>

Note that since multiValued=false is the default for these types, attempting to store a value to 'popularitySort' will cause an indexing error, since it also always receives a value from 'popularity'. Also there is no reason to store both fields, and so 'popularitySort' is index-only.

Text search:

Phrase search: If you store "To Be Or Not To Be" in a "text" field, none of these words will find this document, nor will the phrase in quotes. The problem is that the "text" field does not store the input data, but an altered version. If you want to have any phrase search work as well as individual words, you need to have two fields. Both should be processed similarly, but the phrase search field should not use "stemming" or "stopwords".

Phonemes: Programmers are perfect spellers and expect the same of their users. A phoneme represents (roughly) the sound of one syllable. Phoneme-based searching can give users a better search experience. The Metaphone & other phoneme filters cause the index to store phoneme-base representations of the text instead of the input. So, phoneme filters need to be in both the index and query stacks. Of the several available the DoubleMetaphone filter seems to be the most popular and does well with non-English text. ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundex Soundex] was invented 90 years ago!)