The Hibernate Search project roadmap was quite outdated, so after some team chats on IRC and our developer’s mailing list I’ve summarized our plans on the project website.

What’s the plan?

Current 80% progress

Upgrade to Hibernate ORM 5

Coming in Hibernate Search 5.4, which is almost ready, and you could try it already.

Transactional improvements for the JMS backend

Also included in version 5.4, with improved documentation and configuration examples to follow probably in 5.4.

MassIndexer Improvements

The long standing limitation of transaction timeouts was finally resolved.

Apache Lucene 5 support

We’ve been working on this on separate branches, but we won’t merge it in 5.4 as this branch is stable now. The Lucene 5 update code doesn’t look too scary but we plan that to be 5.5 's highlight so that you can focus on one thing at a time: update to Hibernate ORM 5 now, and just after to Apache Lucene 5.

Neither upgrade is particularly complex, but I hope you’ll appreciate the effort to let you update step by step and take a break in between in case there is some surprise which needs extra attention.

Consider that the upgrade to Hibernate ORM 5 implies an upgrade to WildFly 10.

Near Future Intentions

Clustering, backends and reliability

We want to make it much simpler for you to use Hibernate Search in a clustered / cloud deployment. This has been possible since years, but the amount of requests for help are soaring and we have to admit that we can make several things easier. This is going to be an ongoing effort, with small improvements like the usage of JMSXGroupID already in 5.4, improved JMS examples in 5.5, and the driver for several of the improvements I’ve listed in the roadmap for 5.6…​ however depending on your help and feedback you could read that as "5.6 and beyond".

Java 8, Java 9, …​

With Java 8 very popular and Java 9 getting closer I hope that roadmap items such as out of the box indexing for the new Date/Time types don’t need any explanation. They could use some help though! We made it easy to register new bridges for any type so you can define your own custom types and define how they should best be indexed; this implies you can make an independent plug-in package for any type we don’t support yet, and if it’s a popular type like the ones from JSR 310 or JSR 354 we’d love to integrate it.

ElasticSearch and Apache Solr

There has been interest in such integrations for a while, but we failed to make any progress as the problem needs to be broken down in smaller steps. Several points on JIRA and the roadmap might seem only tangential but resolve roadblocks and pave the road to integrate Hibernate with such services. While we’re intimately familiar with Apache Lucene and these Lucene-as-a-service alternatives provide similar features, we don’t have direct experience with these, so some help will be appreciated. The plan is to prefer merging small iterative improvements over stalling development for months, so we’ll see several steps in a 5.6+ series and use that as the foundation to assess how we can deal with API inconsistencies across these slightly different backends.

Next!

After having all the above-listed new features nicely chiseled in our current stable API, I’m confident that to make the most of features like the ElasticSearch integration we’ll need to make changes to the API. This last refinement step will define Hibernate Search 6.0.

As always, these plans might need to change and we’ll always look forward to your suggestions. I’m unable to commit on dates or seasons; I would love to see this all happen before this winter but we’ll need your contribution for that to be realistic.


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