Paul Palse

Free Text Search in the RIPE Database

Paul Palse
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We have implemented an improved free text search for the RIPE Database based on Solr. Find the details and a pointer to this new search function in the article below.


Introduction

We currently offer the possibility to do a free text search within the RIPE Database from our website www.ripe.net. All we can say about the current search method is that it "somewhat works". The search functionality is not quite what we are used to when using web searches.

A new site, a new search engine

The new RIPE NCC website, which will be launched early next year, will use a different portal framework for which a new search engine has been implemented. The underlying free text indexing engine for the new website, Solr , is a search framework from the Apache Lucene project which can easily be extended and has a large community backing.

The current free text search on www.ripe.net uses a special set of database text dump files that form the search index. The new Solr indexer uses direct database access to produce the index, which eliminates the extra step of dumping special files.

The new search complies with the RIPE Database Terms and Conditions and therefore doesn't index any personal data. PERSON and ROLE objects are not indexed at all. However when opening the details of the search results, it is easy to navigate to the related PERSON and ROLE object details.

Improvements and new features

Aside from being faster and producing more accurate results, the new search offers some new useful features:

Filter by object type

Any kind of search frequently returns a lot of hits within different object types. We present all results, plus the option to filter results by object type.

Searching for multiple keyword

It is possible to use "Logical Operators" in the search by simply specifying if the search should produce results where results contain

  • ALL matching keywords,
  • ANY matching keyword or
  • only EXACT matches

Search within specific objects and/or attributes

It is possible to restrict the search to only be within certain object types or even within certain attributes within certain objects, using the advanced search. This is a very powerful search feature.

The good news, its available now!

We have published the new free text search on the RIPE Database Lab environment already. This way you can test the service and provide us with some feedback. When the new www.ripe.net site goes live we will integrate this search feature into the new website.

RIPE DB New Search Function

Have a look at:

http://lab.db.ripe.net/portal/free-text/search.htm

As usual, please let us know what you think.

 

 

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