Introducing Faceted Search with Alfresco Solr

‘Faceted Search’ is a powerful search feature that allows users to explore content collections by applying multiple filters to their search results in a navigational way.

This approach allows users to continue to employ a simple ‘keyword’ style search, but the analysis of the results allows them to intelligently add filters ‘as they go’ rather than trying to guess the right filters before starting  the search. This means users can get to the right content more quickly with less fiddly search criteria.

Here at Ixxus, we’ve enabled this amazingly useful, and much asked for, feature within Alfresco Share. All it takes is a simple installation and some straight forward configuration using the Share administration interface.

You’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve made our effort open source and are contributing the code to future releases of Alfresco 4 which will be available for all to use from 2013. Existing Ixxus customers can take advantage of this valuable functionality now.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so without further ado, here’s a screenshot:

You can see in the above image that a new navigation section is visible on the left-hand side showing the facets that we’ve enabled. The number alongside each facet result shows the restricted number of search results you’ll get by clicking it. You can add more than one facet result as a filter, and remove a filter at any time.

As always, there are more things we’d like to do to improve it, but the most use common scenarios are fully implemented, such as:

  • Property value facets, including properties on custom model types and facets
  • Property date-ranges as facets
  • Content type facets
  • Mime-type facets


Over the next few days we’ll be posting more information about the usage and implementation details for the curious.


This blog is part of a three-part series. For a technical walkthrough from developer Dan Tuffery, please click through to part two.

Date Published : 02nd of October 2012

Tom Morris

Published by : Tom Morris

About the Author : Tom Morris is Chief Technology Officer at Ixxus, specializing in designing and delivering content solutions to the publishing and media industry. As CTO, Tom has overseen a large number of Ixxus projects at major global publishing companies.