Today, Lucid Imagination releases LucidWorks Cloud, a SaaS version of their LucidWorks Enterprise platform, for general availability. For those of you not in the know, LucidWorks Enterprise is a Solr-Lucene application-developing platform. With the release of the LucidWorks Cloud, companies can now have a stable Search-as-a-Service powered by Solr and Lucene (both of them proven open source search technologies). As a search development platform, LucidWorks Enterprise has been designed to help organizations more effectively search through their unstructured data (emails, machine generated data, videos, etc.) which is right in line with solving this whole new 'Big Data' problem space. According to the press release . . .
LucidWorks Cloud helps businesses of all sizes conquer even the most daunting data and business quandaries by rapidly firing up cost-effective, flexible, and scalable open source search applications that help users find the information gems they need, when they need it.
Lucid imagination is a company worth watching, as Yonik Seeley, who works on the LucidWorks Enterprise projeet, is the creator of Apache Solr. At Lucid Imagination, developers have worked to create a series of Solr-Lucene products, including custom, certified, free-to-download distributions for both Solr and Lucene, along with a LucidWorks for Solr Reference guide, and the LucidWorks Enterprise search platform being upgraded to a Search-as-a-Service product today. Rather than describe the features of all these products, you might find the linked feature matrix provides a better illustration of their distinct features.
We asked Grant Ingersoll, chief scientist at Lucid Imagination and former chair of the Apache Lucene PMC, for his thoughts on this release. This is what he had to say regarding the challenges the team faced while developing the LucidWorks Cloud:
As far as interesting challenges go, there were naturally a good number of them in building out a cloud based search solution, ranging from performance to security. At the same time, LucidWorks Cloud has the obvious advantages of any cloud solution in that we can evolve it seamlessly for our customers . . . Having the ability to go from our on premise version of LucidWorks to the cloud version can be a nice advantage for people. --Grant Ingersoll
Thus far, LucidWorks Cloud has been developed with feedback from at least 30 companies. The open source nature of the project has led to some healthy collaboration and feedback from these companies.
As long as the LucidWorks Cloud keeps getting such positive feedback, it should maintain it's success among organizations seeking a new, more convenient search as a service platform. I have to say, I think this is the first 'Solr-as-a-Service' offering I've seen for the enterprise. Well done, Lucid.