In the past ten years, many organizations turned to open source solutions when developing an application requiring search or when adding search capabilities to an existing information repository. Entering a keyword and getting a list of results seemed like a reasonable way to address search requirements. However, ESG reports that developers soon realized that most open source search solutions, including Lucene and Lucene-based offerings, required some level of customization-an expense that was not considered when selecting this technology in the first place.
While open source projects evolved slowly, user expectations of search capabilities have altered dramatically. Organizations don’t want just simple keyword search anymore. The need for users to have some idea of what they are looking for and where to look and the inability to execute queries across multiple sources is driving the need for more advanced solutions.
These dilemmas reflect the new challenges organizations face when trying to optimize their use of information as a business asset, with most demands centering on the need to access and take action on information as opposed to simply searching for a document. The more complex the context for selecting and developing information access solutions, the more decision makers have to think about when they investigate their options. This paper examines the new information access functionality and administrative requirements - including enterprise concerns for scalability, high availability, and fault tolerance - while measuring the ability of current open source alternatives to meet these demands. ESG also investigates the financial aspects of open source search adoption to ensure organizations consider all costs of a solution, not just a license fee, when making their next investment.