Index and Search, options for PHP programmers

The ability to store large quantities of local data means that many applications require some form of text search and retrieval facility. From the point of view of the application developer there are a number of choices to make, the first is whether to use a complete packaged solution or whether to use one of the available information libraries to build a custom information retrieval (IR) solution.

In this talk I’ll look at the options for PHP programmers who choose to embed IR facilities within their applications.For Java programmers there is clearly a good range of options for text retrieval libraries, but options for PHP programmers are more limited. At first sight for a PHP programmer wishing to embed indexing and search facilities in their application, the choice seems obvious – the PHP implementation of Lucene (Zend Search Lucene).There is no requirement to support another language, the code is PHP therefore easy for PHP programmers to work with and the license is commercially friendly. However, whilst ease of integration and support are key factors in choice of technology, performance can also be important; the performance of the PHP implementation of Lucene is poor compared to the Java implementation.

In this talk I’ll explain the differences in performance between PHP implementation of Lucene and the Java implementation and examine the other options available to PHP programmers for whom performance is a critical factor.