"Stump The Chump" retrospective: The Trickiest Solr Questions Answered

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Talk 1: How We Spiked the HBS water supply with Solr

This presentation is a case study of how Harvard Business School IT built a Solr-driven search-based portal for HBS Alumni, and buoyed by this successful implementation of Solr, how we are expanding its use to other areas of the Enterprise. You will hear about how choosing the Solr approach saved us a ton of custom development, and enabled us to offer end-users features such as personalization, faceted search and navigation of various types of content (e.g., people, events, alumni stories), autocomplete, and a geolocation mapping UI for navigating the people directory. In addition to a demo of the end-user UI, the talk will outline technical implementation details—these will include how we modeled the content in the database to work with Solr, developed a “search wrapper” to handle access control by brokering the requests/responses between the UI layer and Solr, and developed a custom Java loader to import content from our RDBMS into Solr. In short, this talk will describe the path we took in adopting Solr, speed bumps and potholes we hit along the way, where we are currently, and what the future roadmap looks like for using Solr in the HBS Enterprise.

Talk 2: "Stump The Chump"

Chris "Hoss" Hostetter (https://people.apache.org/~hossman/) was the first ever Solr user at CNET Networks in 2005, helping to define what Solr was and what it eventually became at the Apache Software Foundation. At the first ever "Lucene Revolution" in Boston, Hoss was the first ever "Chump" at the first ever "Stump The Chump!" (http://lucenerevolution.org/sessions/stump-the-chump/) session. 5 years and 8 hot seats later, Hoss is returning to Boston and will look back at some of the most interesting Solr questions he's ever been asked. Time permitting, there will be also be a Q&A giving everyone a chance to "Stump The Chump!"

Speaker Bios:

Ravi Mynampaty is just another search guy. He believes that making incremental changes is an effective path towards improving search and tries to make this happen on a daily basis. He is currently working on Enterprise Search at HBS, which includes setting Enterprise Search strategy, design and implementation of findability standards, search tools, and search user interfaces. Ravi has masters degree in engineering from the University of Massachusetts and Brandeis University.

Katia Muser currently works as Technical Solution Architect at HBS. She is a seasoned IT professional and has designed effective software solutions in various verticals such as higher-ed, insurance, finance, and automotive industries. Most recently, she architected a Solr-driven search-based portal for HBS Alumni. Katia has an M.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from EPF Ecole d'Ingénieurs in France.

Chris Hostetter (aka Hoss) is a Lucene/Solr Committer, and Lucene/Solr PMC Member for the Apache Software Foundation. He was previously Principal Software Engineer at CBSi/CNET.