In the last couple of months we’ve been working to upgrade Hibernate Search to use Apache Lucene 5, to keep up with the greatest releases from the Lucene community.

Today Hibernate Search 5.5.0.Alpha1 is available!

As the version suggests this is the first cut, but we’ll also need your feedback and suggestions to better assess the needed steps to evolve this into a great, efficient and stable Final release.

A stable API

As Uwe Schindler - a great developer from the Lucene community - had suggested me to try, it turns out it was possible to update from Apache Lucene version 4 to 5 (a major upgrade) in a minor upgrade of Hibernate Search: many things improved, some things are slightly different, but overall the API was not affected by any significant change.

You might be affected by some minor changes of the Lucene API if you were writing power-use extensions to Hibernate Search, in that case:

Please let us know if there are difficulties in upgrading: we can try to improve on that, or at least improve the migration guide. If you don’t tell us, we might not know and many other developers will have a hard time!

Improved Performance

Several changes in the Apache Lucene code relate to improved efficiency, in particular of memory usage.

However our aim for this release was functionality and correctness; we didn’t have time to run performance tests, and to be fair even if we had the time nothing beats feedback from the community of users.

We would highly appreciate your help in trying it out and run some performance tests, especially if you can compare with previous versions of Hibernate Search (based on earlier versions of Apache Lucene).

If you think you can try this, it’s a unique opportunity to both contribute and to get our insight and support to analyse and understand your performance reports!

Sorting and Faceting: use the right types!

It appears that when using Apache Lucene 4, if you were running a Numeric Faceting Query but the target field was not Numeric, it would still work - or appear to work.

Similarly, if you Sort a query using the wrong SortType, Apache Lucene 4 appears to be forgiving.

When using Apache Lucene 5 now, and also because of some internal changes we had to do to keep your migration cost easier, the validation on the right types got much stricter.

Please be aware that you’ll get runtime exceptions like the following when mistmaching the types:

Type mismatch: ageForIntSorting was indexed with multiple values per document, use SORTED_SET instead

I’m aware those are confusing, so we’ll working on improving the errors: HSEARCH-1951; still even with those error messages, the meaning is you have to fix your mapping. No shame in that, we figured this problem out as several unit tests were too relaxed ;-)

How to get it

Everything you need is available on Hibernate Search’s web site. Download the full distribution from here, or get it from Maven Central, and don’t hesitate to reach us in our forums or mailing lists.

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