Recommendations for search engine on published site?

tdevries's Avatar


11 May, 2010 08:44 PM

I'm looking for recommendations on a search engine for the published side of a Cascade site. We currently use Sphider, a PHP-based search engine (since we have a Linux-based server). One benefit of Sphider is that it can be tweaked to index PDF files, of which we have many.

I've looked at but I can't imagine how to make Cascade index PDFs that have been uploaded into it.

What do you use? How much does it cost? Sphider is free but we are growing tired of its quirks.

  1. 1 Posted by Kris on 11 May, 2010 09:14 PM

    Kris's Avatar

    We are currently redesigning our site and implementing a new search. I have used Zoom search engine by Wrensoft in the past and was very happy with it and am recommending it for our new search. It can output PHP, ASP and JavaScript search forms and is completely customizable. It is very good in my opinion and very cheap ... I think it's only $300 for the fully featured version. Check it out at their site


  2. 2 Posted by tdevries on 12 May, 2010 01:27 AM

    tdevries's Avatar

    Kris, thanks for the suggestion.

    However, I failed to mention one other requirement of ours -- the admin interface has to be web-based. Zoom is not.

  3. 3 Posted by epalmer on 12 May, 2010 06:37 PM

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    We use the google mini appliance. Rack mounted hardware/software and web based interface. We index about 40,000 documents. Supports collections, site searching etc.

    Has key matches (like sponsors links)
    So try "library" as a search term and see what it brings back

    They have academic licensing (~ $3,400 / appliance / 100,000 indexed documents)

    would be glad to speak to you if you want.

  4. 4 Posted by johnsons4 on 12 May, 2010 07:23 PM

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    We had been using Google Mini and liked it...until our hardware broke outside of the warranty :(

    For now, we're using Google Custom Search to do the job until we decide whether we will purchase another Mini device, or go with Google Site Search. We're checking out a Site Search weminar tomorrow to see if it's worth its salt (and price!).

  5. 5 Posted by Brian Steere on 12 May, 2010 08:33 PM

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    We also use a Google Mini and it has been fantastic. Currently we are on our second (we bought a new one when the first went out of warranty). If it fails we will switch to the other. Total switch time should be pretty minor.

  6. 6 Posted by epalmer on 12 May, 2010 11:54 PM

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    We have two mini's that are load balanced. We take one out of service and reindex it to get rid of cached content that has expired and then flip them and do the same to the other one. Our sites remain searchable during full reindex.

    Also this gives us failure redundancy. One is 2 years old and one is 1 year old. We have budgeted for a 3 yr replacement cycle but we may hold till year 4 if the appliance holds up.

  7. 7 Posted by Lee Roberson (F... on 13 May, 2010 04:04 PM

    Lee Roberson (Function Digital LLC)'s Avatar

    We have a Google Search Appliance that indexes about 800,000 documents. The OneBox capabilities, if you have the development resources or the money to outsource it, are killer.

    Additionally, the possibilities it affords in its (somewhat unadvertised) ability to search arbitrary metadata tag values can also be leveraged to do amazing things for specialized searches.

  8. 8 Posted by jkreuzig on 13 May, 2010 04:22 PM

    jkreuzig's Avatar

    We also use the Google Custom Search. It's been the primary search tool for our site for quite a while now.

    Search is something that we will start looking at (hopefully!) in the next year .

  9. Tim closed this discussion on 14 May, 2010 02:19 PM.

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