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A simple client and accompanying shell to help test and give simple commands to a solr instance.


  • Get basic info about cores (size, number of docs, etc.)
  • Basic (*very basic) add/delete/query
  • Commit/optimize/clear (empty) an index
  • Reload a core (presumably after editing a schema.xml or solrconfig.xml)
  • Inspect lists of fields, dynamicFields, copyFields, and fieldTypes
  • Get list of the tokens that would be created if you send a string to a paricular fieldType (like in the solr admin analysis page)
  • Determine (usually) which fields (and their properties) would be created when a given field name is indexed, taking into account dynamicField and copyField directives.

Additional features when running against a localhost solr:

  • Spin up a temporary core to play with
  • Add/remove fields, dynamic_fields, copy_fields, and field types on the fly and save them back, ready for a reload
  • Create temporary cores for doing testing

Basic add and delete of documents, and simple queries

Right now, it supports only the most basic add/delete/query operations. Adding in support for more complex queries is on the TODO list, but took a back seat to dealing with the schema.

# A "client" points to a running solr, independent of the particular core
# You get a core from it.

client ='http://localhost:8983/solr')
core = client.core('core1') # must already exist!
core.url #=> "http://localhost:8983/solr/core1" #=> 'core1'
core.number_of_documents #=> 7, what was in there already
core.instance_dir #=> "/Users/dueberb/devel/java/solr/example/solr/collection1/"
core.schema_file #=> <path>/<to>/<schema.xml>

# Remove all the indexed documents and (automatically) commit

core.number_of_documents #=> 0. Automatic commit for #clear

# Add documents
# name_t is a text_general, multiValued, indexed, stored field
h1 = {:id => '1', :name_t=>"Bill Dueber"}
h2 = {:id => '2', :name_t=>"Danit Brown"}
h3 = {:id => '3', :name_t=>"Ziv Brown Dueber"}


core.number_of_documents #=> 0? But why? Oh, right...
core.number_of_documents #=> 1  There we go

# You can chain many core operations
core.clear.add_docs([h1,h2, h3]).commit.optimize.number_of_documents #=> 3

# only the most basic querying is currently supported
# Result of a query is a QueryResponse, which contains a list of Document
# objects, which respond to ['fieldname']

# All bring back all documents up to the page limit
core.all.size #=> 3{|d| d['name_t']} #=> [['Bill Dueber'], ['Danit Brown'], ['Ziv Brown Dueber']]

# Simple field/value search
docs = core.fv_search(:name_t, 'Brown')
docs.class #=>  SimpleSolrClient::Response::QueryResponse

docs.size #=> 2{|d| d['name_t']} #=> [['Danit Brown'], ['Ziv Brown Dueber']]

# Special-case id/score as regular methods #=> '2'
docs.first.score #=> 0.625

# Figure out where documents fall. "Ziv Brown Dueber" contains both
# search terms, so should come first
docs = core.fv_search(:name_t, 'Brown Dueber')
docs.size #=> 3

docs.rank('3') #=> 1 (check by id)
docs.rank('3') < docs.rank('b') #=> true

# Of course, we can do it by score
docs.score('z') > docs.score('d')

# In addition to #clear, we can delete by simple query
core.delete('name_t:Dueber').commit.number_of_documents #=> 1

Field Types and analysis

Field Types are created by getting data from the API and also parsing XML out of the schema.xml (for later creating a new schema.xml if you'd like).

You can also ask a field type how it would tokenize an input string via indexing or querying.

NOTE: FieldTypes should be able to, say, report their XML serialization even when outside of a particular schema object, but right now that doesn't work. If you make changes to a field type, the only way to see the new serialization is to call schema.to_xml on whichever schema you added it to via schema.add_field_type(ft)

core.schema.field_types.size #=> 23
ft = schema.field_type('text') #=> SimpleSolrClient::Schema::FieldType #=> 'text'
ft.solr_class #=> 'solr.TextField'
ft.multi #=> true
ft.stored #=> true
ft.indexed #=> true
# etc. #=> text
ft.query_tokens "Don't forget me when I'm getting H20"
  #=> ["don't", "forget", "me", "when", "i'm", ["getting", "get"], "h20"]

ft.index_tokens 'When it rains, it pours'
  #=> ["when", "it", ["rains", "rain"], "it", ["pours", "pour"]]

# Check for validity

int_type = core.schema.field_type('int')
int_type.index_tokens("33") => ["33"]
int_type.index_token_valid?("33") #=> true

int_type.index_token_valid?("33.3") #=> false
int_type.index_tokens('33.3') #=>   RuntimeError

Saving/reloading a changed configuration

Whether you change a solr install via editing a text file or by using schema.write, you can always reload a core.


If you're working on localhost, you can make programmatic changes to the schema and then ask for a write/reload cycle. It uses the API to find the path to the schema.xml file and overwrites it.

schema = core.schema
core.add_field>'price', :type_name=>'float')
schema = core.reload.schema

The schema object

Each core exposes a schema object that allows you to find out about the fields, copyfields, and field types, and how they interact with query and index calls (like the analysis screen in the admin interface)

# Get a list of cores
client.cores #=> ['core1', 'core2']
core = client.core('core1')

# Get an object representing the schema.xml file
schema = core.schema #=> SimpleSolrClient::Schema object

# Get lists of field, dynamicFields, and copyFields
# all as SimpleSolrClient::Schema::XXX objects

explicit_fields = schema.fields
dynamic_fields  = schema.dynamic_fields
copy_fields     = schema.copy_fields

# Get a list of FieldType object
field_types     = schema.field_types
field_type_names = 

# Check out a specific field type and how it parses stuff 
mytexttype = schema.field_type('mytexttype') 
mytexttype.index_tokens('bill dueber solr-stuff') #=> ['bill', 'dueber', 'solr', 'stuff']
mytexttype.query_tokens('bill dueber solr-stuff') #=> ['bill', 'dueber', 'solr', 'stuff']

Regular (non-dynamic) fields

Internally I call these "explicit_fields" as opposed to dynamic fields.

f = schema.field('id') #=> 'id' #=> 'string'
f.type.solr_class #=> 'solr.StrField'

# Basic attributes
# These will fall back on the fieldType if not defined for a
# particular field.

f.stored  #=> true
f.indexed #=> true
f.multi   #=> nil # defined on neither field 'id' or fieldType 'string'

# We implement a matcher, which is just string equality
f.matches('id') #=> true
f.matches('id_t') #=>false

# You can add fields, and save it back if you're on
# localhost

schema.add_field>'format', :type_name=>'string', :multi=>true, :stored=>false, :indexed=>true)

schema.write; core.reload # only on localhost

core.schema.field('format') #=> 'string'

Dynamic fields

The rule Solr uses for dynamic fields is "longest one wins" Right now, I'm only handling leading asterisks, so *_t will work, but text_* will not.

schema.dynamic_fields.size #=> 23
f = schema.dynamic_field('*_t') #=> SimpleSolrClient::Schema::DynamicField #=> '*_t') #=> 'text_general'
f.stored #=> true
f.matches('name_t') #=> true
f.matches('name_t_i') #=> false
f.matches('name') #=> false

# Dynamic Fields can also be added
schema.add_dynamic_field(:name=>"*_f", :type_name=>'float')

Copy Fields

CopyFields are a different beast: they only have a source and a dest, and they can have multiple targets. For that reason, the interface is slightly different (#copy_fields_for instead of just #copy_field)

# <copyField source="*_t_s", dest="*_t"/>
# <copyField source="*_t_s", dest="*_s"/>

cfs = schema.copy_fields_for('*_ts')
cfs.size #=> 2 #=> ["*_t", "*_s"]

cf ='title', 'allfields')
cf.source #=> 'title'
cf.dest  #=>  'allfields'


What will I get if I index a field named str?

Dynamic- and copy-fields are very convenient, but it can make it hard to figure out what you're actually going to get in your indexed and stored fields. I started thinking about this at the end of this blog post

schema.resulting_fields(str) will take the field name given and figure out what fields would be generated, returning an array of field objects (which are created wholesale if need be due to dynamicFields or copyFields).

rs = schema.resulting_fields('name_t_s')
rs.size #=> 3{|f| [,]}
  #=> [["name_t_s", "ignored"], ["name_t", "text"], ["name", "string"]]

rs.find_all{|f| f.stored}.map(&:name) #=> ["name"]
rs.find_all{|f| f.indexed}.map(&:name) #=> ['name_t']


$ gem install simple_solr


  1. Fork it ( )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request