What is Elasticsearch and Why Should You Use It?

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Blog » What is Elasticsearch and Why Should You Use It?

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What is Elasticsearch and Why Should You Use It? 1

Blog » What is Elasticsearch and Why Should You Use It?

Table of Contents

Elasticsearch is a powerful open-source search and analytics engine that you can use to index and search data. It has a lot of features that make it perfect for powering full-text search in SaaS applications. 

We’ve had great success deploying it in our own projects, like Sickweather, BOSSS, and Ripcord applications, to name a few. And we know you will too! 

In this blog, we’ll discuss some of its basic concepts, and why you should consider using it in your applications. We’ll also provide some tips on how to get started using it.

Key Features

elasticsearch-block

Elasticsearch is a free, Lucene-based search engine that offers powerful full-text search capabilities. It’s easy to use, scalable, and can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. It is also highly available, with its built-in failover and disaster recovery features.

Some of the key features that makes it so powerful are:

1. Full-text Search

Elasticsearch can index and search any type of text, including emails, PDFs, and Word documents.

2. Faceted Search

It supports facets, which allow you to narrow down your search results by category.

3. Geo-Search

It can be used to perform geo-based searches, such as finding all the restaurants within a certain radius.

4. Analytics

It can be used to build analytics dashboards on top of your data.

5. Scalability

Elasticsearch is highly scalable, making it perfect for handling large volumes of data.

Here is an infographic to summarize it’s features mentioned above.

 elasticsearch-infographic

Source: Technology Rivers

 

Elasticsearch in Business and Marketing Applications

Elasticsearch can be used in a variety of business and marketing applications. Listed below are some of the ways that it can be used in such apps:

1. Website Search

This can be used to power the search feature on your website or blog.

2. Analytics Dashboard

Elasticsearch can be used to build a custom business analytics dashboard.

3. Marketing Campaign Management

It can be additionally used to create a marketing campaign management system.

4. Customer Segmentation

It can be used to segment your customers by location, demographics, or interests.

 

Why Use Elasticsearch?

There are many reasons why you should consider utilizing its searching capabilities in your next project. Here are just a few:

  1. It is easy to use and can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud.
  2. As mentioned earlier, it is very handy, with built-in failover and disaster recovery features that have you covered.
  3. We said it before, and we’ll say it again: it is highly scalable, hence it has the capability to handle huge amounts of data.
  4. It can be used to power the search feature on your website or blog, build a custom analytics dashboard or even create a marketing campaign management system.

What is Elasticsearch and Why Should You Use It? 2

 

Challenges Associated with Elasticsearch

While Elasticsearch is a powerful tool, it should be noted here that there are a few, minor challenges associated with its implementation and use cases:

  • Building a custom analytics dashboard and segmenting your customers by location, demographics, or interests can be very challenging, especially if you are a beginner!
  • Geo-based searches can be inaccurate if the data is not of high quality and has a lot of outliers.

 

Other Search Engines vs Elasticsearch

Elasticsearch is a robust open-source search engine that offers many features that make it perfect for powering search in SaaS applications. However, there are some other players (read: search engines) out there that we just cannot omit to mention.

Some of the other popular search engines include:

 

Apache Solr

solr

The main difference between Solr and Elasticsearch is that while the former can be considered entirely open-source, its counterpart on the other hand still requires some management from employees. Making Elasticsearch’s dev community active but relatively smaller compared to Solr’s.

 

Sphinx

sphinx

Sphinx‘s managed schema file defines index structure, fields, and data types. In contrast to this, Elasticsearch tries to assign field type as the data is being indexed, without creating an index schema first – which is not always accurate and can affect the search outcome of your use case.

 

Lucene

lucene

Lucene is a Java library that stores and indexes text data. Elasticsearch takes this idea one step further by providing an API for accessing these features through JSON-based commands, whether you’re indexing or exploring your search results in Kibana (a dashboard).

What is Elasticsearch and Why Should You Use It? 3

 

Conclusion

Elasticsearch is a powerful search and analytics engine that can be used in business and marketing applications for varied use cases. It offers a number of features that are not found in other search engines, such as the ability to index and search JSON documents. While there are some challenges associated with its implementation and use, these can be overcome with careful planning and experience. It is a great option for businesses of all sizes, and it being free makes it accessible to even the smallest organizations and startups. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, scalable and reliable Search-as-a-Solution, then Elasticsearch is definitely worth considering for your next SaaS app.

 

Are you ready to get started? Our team at Technology Rivers would be happy to help you out!

Did you find this article helpful? We want to hear from you! Please leave us a comment on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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