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From Lukáš Vlček <>
Subject Federated search with opensearch or proprietary APIs for Atlassian
Date Thu, 02 Sep 2010 19:20:15 GMT

Does anybody have any experience with building federated search using
opensearch and/or proprietary APIs of Atlassian's products?

Many Atlassian's products have built in full-text search modules (running on
top of Lucene I think) that provide interesting and sometimes quite advanced
search features (including recommendations and identification of similar or
"the-like" documents). However, there does not seem to be any easy way how
to allow users search across multiple CMSs in useful way (or is there?) -
aka federated search. Atlassian seems to provide opensearch API in some
products (1.1 version still in draft since 2005!) or proprietary API (REST
based for example) that is subject to change with every product update. As
far as I understand opensearch is quite limited as well as the mentioned
REST API is. The later is bit more advanced but documentation for their
search API seems to be quite brief and learning how to do sorting, phrase
querying, boosting or anything more advanced then simple term query sounds
like spending time experimenting.

I believe the only reasonable and efficient way how to allow federated
search is to pull the content from individual CMSs into new search server
(like Solr for example). However, this may sound like reinventing the wheel
to the customers ("Atlassian product owns the data and their developers
invested a lot of resources into all the fancy search features, right? Why
to build it again?"). So, I would like to hear from anybody who can prove me
wrong on my opinion that unless I can grab, pull (steal if you will) and
index the data again then there is no way how to build something really
useful. By "more useful" I mean something more then just sending term
queries into individual CMSs and merging individual search results (which
does not allow building facets in efficient way, does not allow good sorting
and filtering, does not allow scoring control... etc... not to mention spell
checking, search suggestions, did you mean ...).


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