Apache solr module vs Searchlight Comparison of two modules to provide faceted browsing capability via a solr back end.
Term Clarification I will refer to the apache Solr module, in this document this refers to the Drupal module of the same name not the apache Solr software itself. If I am referring to Apache Solr itself I will not use the word module
Overview <ul><li>Both modules act as an interface between Drupal and a apache Solr search system.
This takes some load off Drupal which only includes a SQL based search by default, which can't scale.
Helps Scalability in terms of content indexed and number searches performed.
Assumption is that you will use Solr and stick with it for some time. </li></ul>
Safe option For a standard site which was looking for a faster search the Apache Solr module is the safe option. It is used on a large and it has a release which is marked as stable.
Digging deeper The Apache Solr module was built as a replacement for core search. So its' root is in Drupal terminology “ Among the extra features is the ability to have faceted search on facets ranging from content author to taxonomy to arbitrary CCK fields ” This may be a big limitation for a company which is big on content aggregation
Drupal as a Distributed CMS <ul><li>Traditionally a CMS has sat on one site where content is entered or imported and stored in a single database.
Drupal has the ability to be a distributed CMS, where content is displayed from a number of sources and not stored locally.
The Apache Solr module, works on the assumption of local data
Searchlight, works from views so can index data from any source. </li></ul>
Views in Views out <ul><li>Drupal views is a module which allows data to be searched and exposed in an extremely flexible way.
Views 3, allows plug ins to be written from any accessible data source, including SPARQL and Solr.
Any content aggregation system which uses Drupal should leverage views as much as possible.
Hence for content aggregation searchlight is a better match </li></ul>
Flexible Architecture <ul><li>It is important to keep architecture options open