Hibernate Search is a library that integrates Hibernate ORM with Apache Lucene or Elasticsearch by automatically indexing entities, enabling advanced search functionality: full-text, geospatial, aggregations and more. For more information, see Hibernate Search on hibernate.org.

We just published Hibernate Search 6.0.0.Alpha1, the first release for the next major version of Hibernate Search.

This version is not suitable for production due to its limitations and to the fact APIs are still unstable. However, it’s a great way to get a feeling of where Hibernate Search is going and give us your feedback.

Getting started

If you want to dive right in, a good starting point is the getting started guide included in the reference documentation.

What’s new

For a full list of changes since the previous releases, please see the release notes. Be warned, though: there is a lot in there. You may find the summary below easier to process.

Preview status

Hibernate Search 6.0 is currently a technology preview and is not ready for production.

While the core of Hibernate Search 6 is there, there are still a lot of limitations:

  • Features are partially implemented or simply missing. For example, you cannot index a Double property yet, you cannot configure custom Lucene directories, you cannot ignore bridges in the predicate DSL, and so on.

  • APIs are not considered stable yet.

  • The low-level parts of Hibernate Search 5 that improve its efficiency haven’t been ported to Hibernate Search 6 yet. This results in obvious performance bottlenecks, such as all the indexing works from a multi-threaded application being executed one after another and without any form of batching.

The exact features that are currently implemented and expected to work will be added to the reference documentation as new Alpha versions are released, but to sum up, here is what you can start to play with:

  • ORM integration:

    • Mapping of entities using either annotation mapping or programmatic mapping. However, we do not offer all the options that were available in Search 5 (yet), and we do not support all the data types (yet).

    • Automatic indexing of ORM entities as they are persisted within a transaction (enabled automatically if Hibernate Search is in your classpath and the entity is mapped).

    • Search for ORM entities using their Hibernate Search index, and retrieving managed entities as results. However, we do not offer many options regarding how the entities are retrieved and initialized (yet).

    • Custom, user-defined type bridges, property bridges or value bridges. However, the API to retrieve information from POJOs is currently quite cumbersome: we know that and will work on a lighter API (see HSEARCH-3297, HSEARCH-3298).

  • Search DSL

    • All the predicates listed in org.hibernate.search.engine.search.dsl.predicate.SearchPredicateFactoryContext. However, we do not offer all the options that were available in Search 5 (yet).

    • All the sorts listed in org.hibernate.search.engine.search.dsl.sort.SearchSortContainerContext. However, we do not offer all the options that were available in Search 5 (yet).

    • All the projections listed in org.hibernate.search.engine.search.dsl.projection.SearchProjectionFactoryContext. However, we do not offer all the options that were available in Search 5 (yet).

ORM version

Hibernate Search 6 still relies on ORM 5.3 at the moment, because it requires features that are not yet implemented in ORM 6 (still in development).

Lucene 7

The Lucene backend now uses Lucene 7.5.

Elasticsearch 6

The Elasticsearch backend now works with Elasticsearch 5.6 or 6.5. Support for older versions of Elasticsearch was dropped.

API refresh

A lot of APIs have been changed, for multiple reasons.

No more Lucene in Hibernate Search APIs

Hibernate Search APIs now abstract from the Lucene APIs, so that alternative backends such as Elasticsearch can be used without having Lucene on your classpath.

This should also allow us to upgrade the Lucene version more easily: in Search 5, as Lucene was "part of" our APIs, we were severely limited when we wanted to upgrade to a newer Lucene version, because any breaking change in Lucene could mean a breaking change for our users, too. Now that using Lucene APIs is no longer necessary to use Hibernate Search, upgrades should be faster.

New Search DSL

The Search DSL is brand new, with several improvements:

  • Ability to use lambdas for more concise query definition, even when queries are complex.

  • Type-safe projections thanks to the brand new projection DSL.

  • Injection of native predicates (org.apache.lucene.search.Query, JSON for Elasticsearch) within DSL-created predicates. This is not new for the Lucene integration, but it is for the Elasticsearch integration. See org.hibernate.search.engine.search.dsl.predicate.SearchPredicateFactoryContext.extension(SearchPredicateFactoryContextExtension<T>) org.hibernate.search.backend.elasticsearch.ElasticsearchExtension.get() and org.hibernate.search.backend.lucene.LuceneExtension.get().

Here is an example of what running a search query in Search 6 looks like:

FullTextEntityManager fullTextEntityManager = Search.getFullTextEntityManager( entityManager );

FullTextQuery<Book> query = fullTextEntityManager.search( Book.class ).query()
        .predicate( factory -> factory.match()
                .onFields( "title", "authors.name" )
                .matching( "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code" )

List<Book> result = query.getResultList();

And projections to custom beans look like this:

FullTextEntityManager fullTextEntityManager = Search.getFullTextEntityManager( entityManager );

FullTextSearchTarget<Book> target = fullTextEntityManager.search( Book.class );

FullTextQuery<MyProjectionBean> query = target.query()
                        searchTarget.projection().field( "id_stored", Long.class ).toProjection(),
                        searchTarget.projection().field( "title", String.class ).toProjection()
        .predicate( factory -> factory.match()
                .onFields( "title", "authors.name" )
                .matching( "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code" )

List<MyProjectionBean> result = query.getResultList();

Bridge 2.0

The bridge APIs had to change as part of the API refresh, so we took this opportunity to overhaul bridge APIs to make bridges more powerful.

The new Bridge APIs are completely different, but with a lot of improvements:

  • Custom (user-defined) bridge annotations, allowing to pass type-safe parameters, and not just strings.

  • Better support for dirty checking optimization in bridges (in TypeBridge in particular), by allowing bridges to declare what parts of the entity they use.

  • Predicates on non-String fields will work without having to bypass bridges (.ignoreFieldBridge()) like in Search 5.

  • And more!

Easier to use automatic indexing

Automatic indexing improvements are not limited to bridges: @IndexedEmbedded is easier to configure properly in Search 6, too.

To be precise, changes on indexed-embedded entities trigger reindexing of the "embedding" entity automatically, and annotating the inverse side of the association with @ContainedIn is no longer needed in most cases. A mapping error will be reported when the inverse side of the association cannot be resolved.

Runtime joins

Hibernate Search 6.0 introduces "nested" fields and predicates, similar to the feature with the same name in Elasticsearch.

See org.hibernate.search.mapper.pojo.mapping.definition.annotation.IndexedEmbedded.storage and org.hibernate.search.engine.search.dsl.predicate.SearchPredicateFactoryContext.nested().

Migrating from Search 5

As mentioned above, Search 6 breaks many APIs, so migrating older projects will be more work than usual. The migration guide will be completed as we release new versions and the APIs get more and more stable, but for now we recommend to only test Search 6 on small projects.

Ultimately, we intend to provide additional "compatibility" modules that will allow you to use the Search 5 APIs with Search 6 under the hood. However, our goal is not full backward compatibility: for some features that changed dramatically, it may not be possible to use the Search 5 APIs anymore. The main purpose of this compatibility layer will be to spread the migration effort: you will have to change your Maven dependencies, configuration and more complex mappings/queries immediately, but you will be able to delay the more repetitive parts of the migration work (simple queries, simple entity mappings) to later.

Finally, for those who cannot, or do not want to, spend the time required to migrate, we intend to continue maintenance releases (= bugfixes) of Hibernate Search 5.x: no end-of-life date has been set at the moment.

How to get this release

All details are available and up to date on the dedicated page on hibernate.org.

Note that, if you want to try Hibernate Search 6, a good starting point is the getting started guide included in the reference documentation.

Feedback, issues, ideas?

To get in touch, use the following channels:

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