I’ve been meaning to have a play around with Solr, which is…
an open source enterprise search server based on the Lucene Java search library, with XML/HTTP and JSON APIs, hit highlighting, faceted search, caching, replication, and a web administration interface
It’s mostly the “faceted” part I’m interested in and, after a couple of hours of messing around, I’ve got a basic OPAC search interface up and running with around 10,000 records pulled in from our catalogue.
It looks like Solr automatically handles word stems, as searches for “score”, “scores”, and “scoring” find the same results. The results are also relevancy ranked, although I need to find a way to fine tune the default ranking algorithm.
All in all, I’m very impressed with what Solr can do and how quickly it handles searches.