Apache Lucene

What Does Apache Lucene Mean?

Apache Lucene is an open source project for a high performance and full-featured text search engine library which is written entirely using Java.


It is capable of full-text search within documents so it is a technology that is suitable for any application which requires this feature, especially if it is cross-platform.

It was first developed by Doug Cutting in 1999 and became officially part of the Apache Foundation’s Jakarta family of open source Java projects in September 2001. It was upgraded to a top level Apache project in February 2005.

Techopedia Explains Apache Lucene

Apache Lucene is a high performance search engine with the concept of "a document containing fields of text" at its core logical architecture. This offers great flexibility and allows the Lucene API to become independent of any file format.

Any text from formats such as MS Word, HTML, XML, PDF, and OpenDocument can be indexed as long as the textual information can be extracted, which means that it cannot do anything with images.

Lucene is suitable for any application that needs a full text indexing and search capability, but it is widely recognized as a great utility for implementing Internet search engines and for local, single-site searching.

Features include:

  • Scalable and high performance indexing – it can process over 150 Gb per hour on modern hardware and requires only 1 Mb per heap of memory requirements.
  • Powerful, accurate and efficient search algorithms – it offers many types of powerful queries such as phrase, wildcard, proximity, and range queries. It also has fielded searching and sorting by any field.
  • Cross platform – pure Java implementation and also available in other programming languages.

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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…