Adding Custom Fields to Sitecore Search Indexes in Solr vs Lucene

We’re doing a lot with Solr lately, and I wanted to make a note of the difference in how one defines custom fields to include in your Sitecore indexes. I’m not including how one defines a full custom index, but just the field definition; if one has a “Description” and “Conversation” field to include in a search index for Sitecore, this summarizes the basics of how to make that happen.

Lucene

One adds <field> nodes to the fieldNames and fieldMap sections of the XML configuration.  Again, this example alters the defaultLuceneIndexConfiguration for Sitecore which isn’t a best-practice; it’s generally better to define your own index that is laser-focused just on the content you want to use for your implementation, but I wanted as succinct an example as possible to note the caveat!

 <sitecore>  
   <contentSearch>  
    <indexConfigurations>  
      <defaultLuceneIndexConfiguration type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider.LuceneIndexConfiguration, Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider">  
       <fieldMap type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.FieldMap, Sitecore.ContentSearch">  
         <fieldNames hint="raw:AddFieldByFieldName">  
          <field fieldName="Description" storageType="YES" indexType="TOKENIZED" vectorType="NO" boost="1f" type="System.String" settingType="Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider.LuceneSearchFieldConfiguration, Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider">  
            <analyzer type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider.Analyzers.LowerCaseKeywordAnalyzer, Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider" />  
          </field>  
          <field fieldName="Conversation" storageType="YES" indexType="TOKENIZED" vectorType="NO" boost="1f" type="System.String" settingType="Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider.LuceneSearchFieldConfiguration, Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider">  
            <analyzer type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider.Analyzers.LowerCaseKeywordAnalyzer, Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider" />  
          </field>  
         </fieldNames>  
       </fieldMap>  
      </defaultLuceneIndexConfiguration>  
    </indexConfigurations>  
   </contentSearch>  
 </sitecore>  

Solr

One adds <fieldReader> nodes to the mapFieldByTypeName and FieldReaders sections of the XML configuration.  Same caveat applies here for Solr as with Lucene — it’s generally recommended to define your own Solr index and work from that, but I wanted a minimal example:

 <sitecore>  
  <contentSearch>    
   <indexConfigurations>  
    <defaultSolrIndexConfiguration type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrProvider.SolrIndexConfiguration, Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrProvider">  
     <FieldReaders type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.FieldReaders.FieldReaderMap, Sitecore.ContentSearch">  
      <mapFieldByTypeName hint="raw:AddFieldReaderByFieldTypeName">  
       <fieldReader fieldTypeName="Description"  fieldReaderType="Sitecore.ContentSearch.FieldReaders.RichTextFieldReader, Sitecore.ContentSearch" />  
       <fieldReader fieldTypeName="Conversation"  fieldReaderType="Sitecore.ContentSearch.FieldReaders.RichTextFieldReader, Sitecore.ContentSearch" />  
      </mapFieldByTypeName>  
     </FieldReaders>  
    </defaultSolrIndexConfiguration>  
   </indexConfigurations>  
  </contentSearch>  
 </sitecore>  

 

This is really just the tip of the iceburg, as fieldReaderType definitions for Solr and Lucene analyzers — just two examples — open up so many possibilities.  I struggled to find this side-by-side info for Lucene and Solr as it applies to Sitecore (Sitecore 8.1 update-1, specifically), so I wanted to share it here.

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