Search Strategies in Drupal 8

  • 4 minute read

Hatching your Search strategy for Drupal 8? 

You're in luck. 

You can tap into two recent blog posts -- one new, one refreshed -- and get a good idea of the State of Search in Drupal 8. 

Faceted Search in Drupal 8

Jeff Geerling's Faceted Search in Drupal 8: Using Search API Solr and Facets explains the genealogy of Drupal Search: how if you've ever used Apache Solr as a search engine for your Drupal site,  you likely had to consider two modules that could power search functionality: Apache Solr Search and Search API Solr.

Both modules worked great in Drupal 7, and both provided many powerful features for modern search, like fast full-text search and indexing, search facets, and autocomplete.

Jeff also gives the good news that in Drupal 8, both module's maintainers decided to team up and consolidate efforts behind Search API and Search API Solr. This means you no longer have to pick between two excellent modules—there's now one even better module. 

All the related modules (like Facet API [now Facets] and Facet API Pretty PathsSearch API Autocomplete, etc.) can now focus on one target instead of two.

So with Search API currently in late alpha stages, Search API Solr in alpha, and Facets also in alpha, Jeff claims that, "if you use the latest stable releases of all three modules, you can already start building complex and functional faceted search pages, just like you could in Drupal 7."

His post has some valuable links to the history of Solr and Drupal, and a tutorial on setting up a faceted Apache Solr search page on Drupal 8. 

Definitely worth a read. 

A Drupal 8 Search Battleplan

Nick Veenhof has had a front row seat on the evolution of Search in Drupal. 

He got deeply involved in Search for Drupal when he had a 6 month internship at Acquia to improve the Apache Solr Search module and the Acquia Search platform. During that time, the Drupal 7 module got a complete overhaul, fixing many bugs, improving the developer experience, and adding features like entity support and much more.

At the same time he saw the Search API module emerging. 

He has also worked with the Search API maintainers to find common ground. 

You can learn from his experiences in Battleplan for Search & Solr in Drupal 8.

Right now, btw, Nick is feeling good about the future of Search in Drupal.

Read why he thinks that "contrib Search maintainers are committed to make Drupal 8 kick ass with Search API."

Acquia Search

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that developers can use Acquia Search with Search API and Drupal 8.

That's got to be one of the easiest way to get on the Drupal 8 Search bus. Check it out: there's been a lot of Acquia Search Drupal 8 progress.

And, don't forget, you can get started for free with Acquia Cloud Free.