Managed Solr vs. SearchStudio: Which Best Meets Your Needs?

Managed Solr vs. SearchStudio Which Best Meets Your Needs

One of the most common questions we get here at SearchStax is about the difference between our two products. SearchStax provides two very different products but it’s easy to understand how the two get confused. To understand the differences, let’s first start with just a quick review of each product.


Editor’s Note: Managed Solr is now SearchStax Cloud. SearchStudio is now SearchStax Studio. These are the same great products, with SearchStax Cloud supporting Solr infrastructure and SearchStax Studio making website search easy.

Search Infrastructure with Managed Solr

Our Managed Solr product is a service that provides shared and dedicated servers for the Apache Solr platform.  Solr is a very popular, open-source enterprise search platform built on Apache Lucene. The best way to think of our Managed Solr solution is to consider it as Solr as a Service

Managed Solr Screenshot for Pete Navarra Blog
Solr, in its own right, is a very complex system that is extremely difficult for some companies to manage on their own. Several enterprise platforms need an indexing service to assist with recall of content and data, and have chosen Solr for that purpose. Platforms such as the Sitecore Experience Platform use Solr as part of its core infrastructure architecture. Websites on other content management systems, like Drupal and Adobe Experience Manager, also use Solr to manage search on their websites.

There are also a number of custom application integrations that utilize Solr.

The increased complexity of rolling your own Solr is where SearchStax’s Managed Solr product comes to the rescue. Managed Solr environments can be deployed on-demand and managed through a variety of support plans, and all of the infrastructure can be hosted on a specific cloud platform of the customer’s choosing.

Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud are the three major cloud computing platforms supported by Managed Solr deployments. Managed Solr deployments can be as complex as they need to be to support highly available architecture. Features such as Disaster Recovery and Cross Data Center Replication scenarios can be extremely difficult to set up, or they can be as simple as hosting a single Solr index on shared infrastructure. 

Managed Solr Cloud Providers and Regions
Through our Monitoring & Alerting dashboard (aka SearchStax Pulse), Managed Solr provides a host of analytical information that allows you to see the performance of the hardware hosting Solr as well as how performant the Solr platform is. Pulse is one of the most sought-after features of Managed Solr, users can also set up alerts on the key metrics to simplify the monitoring.

All that said, Managed Solr makes it easy to automate many of the mundane tasks often found with managing Solr environments. Managed Solr removes the day-to-day management of Solr servers from Developer and DevOps resources with a fully-managed SLA-backed solution.

Website Search with SearchStudio

Our SearchStudio product is a SaaS-based website search experience platform. If that sounds unfamiliar to you, consider the last website that you visited where you used their search box.  Did typeahead options show up?  When you pressed enter or clicked on the magnifying glass icon, did a host of search results appear?  Perhaps you’ve seen faceting where you can filter or refine the search results.

SearchStudio Screenshot for Pete Navarra Blog
These are all the features that SearchStudio platform can provide, plus so much more.

With SearchStax’s SearchStudio, you gain access to a number of API’s for the purpose of creating rich website search experience. Inside that search experience, analytics are gathered that provide insight into how search results are performing and whether or not results are getting clicked on.

Other features include faceting, synonyms, auto-suggest, and more importantly relevance modeling that provides the ability to have different search results based on individual models. You can adjust ranking (or boost specific fields over other fields in the results), add promotions to push key content to the top of the search results, offer related searches and auto-suggest, and rules to personalize the search results.

SearchStudio is a complete website search solution that is ready for the modern, composable web.

How Are Managed Solr and Search Studio Different

When we think about how they differ, it’s easier to showcase how they are similar. For clarity, these are two completely different products. The confusion exists because of how SearchStudio is deployed.

Managed Solr is apt for IT teams where they already have experience with Solr development, have an application that is integrated with Solr and are looking for a As-a-Service/ SaaS based solution to offload Solr Operations and management.

SearchStudio, however, is for marketing teams who are looking to deliver a rich and personalized search experience for their customers without having to completely custom build all the features and functionalities out of a raw, open source search engine like Apache Solr.

When SearchStudio is purchased, behind the scenes you are also purchasing a SaaS Solr API that is powering the search experience. You don’t need to buy Managed Solr separately.

How Do SearchStudio and Managed Solr Work Together

SearchStax provides end-to-end indexing and search results experiences for your entire solution. Customers using the Sitecore Experience Platform, as an example, can power their indexing process and internal content management search functions on SearchStax Managed Solr while at the same time energize their website search results with SearchStax SearchStudio bringing together powerful search results and hassle-free managed Solr.

Try Both Products For Free

Interested in one of these products? SearchStax offers a free, no strings attached, trial of both Managed Solr and SearchStudio.

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