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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Using Solarium with SOLR for Search - Advanced
May 08, 2014 @ 11:56:46

The SitePoint PHP blog has finished off their series showing you how to integrate searching with SOLR (via Solarium) into your PHP application. In this last part of the series, Lukas White gets into some of the more advanced topics around searching and handling the resulting output in your views.

In the first three parts we installed and configured SOLR and Solarium and started building an example application for searching movies. We've also looked at faceted search. We're going to wrap up the series by looking at some more advanced features of SOLR, and how to use them with Solarium.

He's broken up the rest of the tutorial to talk about a few of these more advanced features like:

  • Highlighting search matches in the output of documents (depending on the type of match)
  • Using the searching for an autocomplete
  • Configuring and making the request with an array-based configuration (a more manual process)
  • Adding additional cores to the search (allowing for more flexibility on search styles and configurations)

He also points to two other resources that could be handy along your path to SOLR dominance: the SOLR reference guide and the official Solarium documentation.

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solr search solarium library tutorial series part4 advanced

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/using-solarium-solr-search-advanced/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Using Solarium with SOLR for Search - Implementation
May 07, 2014 @ 10:54:10

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted the third part of their series looking at using the Solarium tool to hook your PHP application into a SOLR search instance. In this latest part of the series they get down to the actual search implementation.

In the first part I introduced the key concepts and we installed and set up SOLR. In part two we installed and configured Solarium, a library which enables us to use PHP to "talk" to SOLR as if it were a native component. Now we're finally ready to start building the search mechanism, which is the subject of this installment.

He starts with a simple search example, making a request to select the matches for a given query (given on the URL as a variable "q"). He shows how to run the select and fetch the results as a result set. He enhances this, containing the search logic inside a class and making a template to show the results. He also includes examples of how to use the "Disjunction Max", sorting and pagination functionality. Finally, he looks at a more complex type of search, a faceted search, and includes code examples of making the request and displaying the results.

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solr solarium search engine tutorial implement basics faceted

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/using-solarium-solr-search-implementation/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Using Solarium with SOLR for Search - Solarium and GUI
May 06, 2014 @ 13:49:34

The SitePoint PHP blog continues their series looking at the use of the Solarium tool to work with the SOLR searching tool in PHP. In this latest part (part two) of the series they move beyond the setup and configuration and get into some actual code to use the server.

This is the second article in a four part series on using Solarium, in conjunction with Apache's SOLR search implementation. In the first part, I introduced the key concepts and we installed and set up SOLR. In this second part we'll install Solarium, start building an example application, populate the search index and get into a position where we can start running searches.

The frontend, based on the Laravel framework, is simple to get up and running with just a few lines of code. They walk you through the basic CRUD kinds of steps, "pinging" the server to ensure it's up and searching the documents you've added.

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solarium solr search gui laravel crud

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/using-solarium-solr-search-solarium-gui/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Using Solarium with SOLR for Search - Setup
May 02, 2014 @ 11:49:16

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial showing you how to use the Solarium library to search SOLR. Solarium is a PHP-based, open source tool that helps make interfacing with a SOLR search instance much easier. This post is part one of a larger series covering the combination of SOLR and Solarium.

Apache's SOLR is an enterprise-level search platform based on Apache Lucene. It provides a powerful full-text search along with advanced features such as faceted search, result highlighting and geospatial search. [...] If you're using PHP then the Solarium Project makes integration even easier, providing a level of abstraction over the underlying requests which enables you to use SOLR as if it were a native implementation running within your application. In this series, I'm going to introduce both SOLR and Solarium side-by-side.

He starts with some of the basic concepts behind what SOLR is, what kinds of things it's useful for and how to get it installed on your system (using Homebrew). He shows how to set up a sample schema including a detailed look at the different types and required fields it will need. As this is just the first part of the series, it stops there and will get into the actual PHP code for the interface in the next edition.

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solr solarium search engine tutorial interface opensource library

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/using-solarium-solr-search-setup/

Michael Dowling:
Favor Hash Lookups Over Array Searches
March 21, 2014 @ 10:47:34

Michael Dowling has a recent post to his site comparing the performance of hash lookups versus array searches.

A common programming requirement is to match a string against a set of known strings. For example, let's say you were iterating over the words in a forum post and testing to see if a word is in a list of prohibited words. A common approach to this problem is to create an array of the known prohibited words and then use PHP's in_array() function to test if the string is found in the list. However, there's a simple optimization you can make to significantly improve the performance of the algorithm.

He includes two pieces of sample code - one showing the searching of an array using in_array and the other running an isset to locate a key. He points out that the in_array method is quite a bit slower than the hash (key) lookup and includes a benchmark script to prove it.The results are pretty clear, with the hash lookup coming in about 480% faster than the in_array. He also points out that as the size of the strings you're comparing grows, the performance of in_array drops even more.

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hash lookup search array inarray benchmark

Link: http://mtdowling.com/blog/2014/03/17/hash-lookups-over-array-search/

Gary Sieling:
Scraping Google Maps Search Results with Javascript and PHP
July 29, 2013 @ 12:23:21

Gary Sieling has a new post to his site about scraping Google Maps data with a combination of PHP and some simple Javascript. It makes use of callbacks and timers to get the data already returned from their API.

Google Maps provides several useful APIs for accessing data: a geocoding API to convert addresses to latitude and longitude, a search API to provide locations matching a term, and a details API for retrieving location metadata. For many mapping tasks it is valuable to get a large list of locations (restaurants, churches, etc) - since this is valuable, Google places a rate limiter on the information, and encourages caching query results.

He includes the code (both front- and back-end) that you'll need to make the system work. It makes a request to the Google Maps API as usual but then adds a listener with a callback. This takes the latitude/longitude data and runs a "get details" method to get more information. The result is then POSTed to PHP and written out to a file.

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googlemaps google search results scraping api javascript tutorial

Link: http://garysieling.com/blog/scraping-google-maps-search-results-with-javascript-and-php

Lorna Mitchell:
Twitter Search API Using PHP and Guzzle
July 11, 2013 @ 12:49:45

Lorna Mitchell has a new post to her site today showing how she connected to Twitter with Guzzle, the popular PHP-based HTTP client (also used in the Amazon Web Services PHP client).

In case you missed it, Twitter updated their APIs recently, so that you have to authenticate to use even their search APIs to return publicly-available results. This is an increasing trend for API providers, to provide either very limited or nonexistent access for unauthenticated users, I think so they can rate limit consumers that swamp them. To cut a long story short, that meant I needed to update my dashboards that keep an eye on twitter searches to do more than just call file_get_contents in the general direction of the right URL.

She walks you through the creation of the client complete with the OAuth plugin (included with Guzzle) to make an OAuth request to api.twitter.com. With the client created, she shows a simple search call to the "tweets" endpoint.

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twitter search guzzle tutorial http client oauth api

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2013/twitter-search-api-using-php-and-guzzle

System Architect:
Integrate PHP application with Solr search engine
March 12, 2013 @ 12:01:43

On the "System Architect" site there's a recent post showing you how to integrate PHP and Solr, the searching tool from the Apache project.

So why do you need a search engine, is database not enough? If you create a small website it might not matter. With medium or big size applications it's often wiser to go for a search engine. Saying that, even a small websites can benefit from Solr if you desire a high level of relevance in search results.

Their example involves an ecommerce website and a search for a term (iPhones) and how difficult it could be to match against the possible multiple variations on the models. Solr makes this kind of searching easier. He shows you how to get a Solr instance all set up and configured as well as the PHP PECL extension from here. A sample PHP script is also included showing connecting to Solr, inserting a new document and searching for a simple query of "hello".

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solr search engine tutorial integration pecl extension


Jeroen van Dijk:
Multi-select faceting in Solr with Solarium
November 07, 2012 @ 12:14:14

If you're a user of the Solarium tool for querying Solr database already and have been wondering how to work with faceting, you should take a look at this new post from Jeroen van Dijk. He covers using Solarium to do multi-select faceting in a Solr query.

Solarium is a library I often use at Enrise for querying Solr. For one of the projects I work on, AutoTrack.nl a second hand car site, I was having issues on advanced faceting with Solr which I could easily solve using Solarium. [...] Faceting is a technique for guided navigation where search results are separated into categories, often including counts on those categories. The user can then select from those categories to restrict their search step by step.

He includes an example of what kind of results this sort of searching could return and how you can use the "facet.mincount" to restrict the results to an even finer set. There's a bit of code included showing how to use this filtering method with a combination of "addFilterQuery" and "createFacetField" calls before executing the select through Solarium.

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solr search solarium facet mincount tutorial


WebSpeaks.in:
Search Google Plus Profiles using PHP and Google Plus API
June 01, 2012 @ 09:05:05

In this new tutorial to the WebSpeaks blog, Arvind Bhardwj shows you how to hook up to the Google+ API and search profiles for your desired terms.

The main aim of this application is to go familiar with the Google Plus API usage. Google Plus provides an extremely easy to use API to access the public contents on it. Here we will create a simple search application to search user profiles on Google Plus.

Complete code is provided in the post (PHP) and instructions on setting up an "application" on G+ so you can get the keys needed to connect to the API. You can see it in action in the live demo or just download the source to get started.

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googleplus api search profile demo



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