Behind the Scenes with our New Book Search
I've been busy the last few weeks--among other things, incorporating the Book Search into IndieBound.org. For what it's worth, I think the Book Search is a terrific bit of code...it searches about a dozen fields in a database of millions of books, sorts by all kinds of things (relevance, popularity, etc.) and does it all nearly instantaneously. The Book Search was originally developed by our E-Commerce team for the new ABA E-Commerce Sites (which are also being built in Drupal!).
End users tend to take how fast it is for granted...as well you should. But to me as a developer, its speed and accuracy are *very* impressive. One of the reasons it's so fast is that it actually runs on a separate server! Unlike the IndieBound.org Site Search, it is not part of Drupal at all, but an adaptation of the Java-based (and lightning fast) Apache Lucene Solr Search. We've adapted it for use with our sites using the Apache Solr module available for Drupal.
This Book Search is still in its infancy, but it should form the backbone of all book-related features in the IndieBound Community--starting with our new Wish Lists. This is probably the most exciting thing I've worked on since the launch of the community...I hope the Wish Lists are straightforward, simple, and fun to use for everyone! I think they really underscore the potential for this community--they build on the existing "fans" system for stores to encourage community members' friends and family to shop local. If you haven't yet, check out my list and make your own!