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ItemsJS - search engine in javascript

Full text, faceted, dependency free search library in javascript. Created to perform fast search on json dataset (up to 100K items).



See another demo examples

Use cases

Itemsjs is being used mostly for data classification of companies, products, publications, documents, jobs or plants

The solution has been implemented by people from Amazon, Hermes, Apple, Microsoft, James Cook University, Carnegie Mellon University and more. You can find a list of real implementations - here


  • faceted search
  • full text
  • pagination
  • no dependencies (only javascript)
  • working on backend and frontend
  • working with custom full text search

Getting Started


npm install itemsjs
const itemsjs = require('itemsjs')(data, configuration);
const items =;

Client side

or using from the client side:

npm install itemsjs
<!-- CDN -->
<!-- unpkg: use the latest release -->
<script src=""></script>
<!-- unpkg: use a specific version -->
<script src=""></script>
<!-- jsdelivr: use a specific version -->
<script src=""></script>

<!-- locally -->
<script src="/node_modules/itemsjs/dist/itemsjs.js"></script>
itemsjs = itemsjs(data, configuration);

Gulp task:

function itemjs() {
  return src('node_modules/itemsjs/dist/itemsjs.min.js')
}; // Will copy to source/javascripts/itemsjs.min.js


npm install itemsjs

# download json data
wget -O data.json

Create search.js:

const data = require('./data.json');

const itemsjs = require('itemsjs')(data, {
  sortings: {
    name_asc: {
      field: 'name',
      order: 'asc'
  aggregations: {
    tags: {
      title: 'Tags',
      size: 10,
      conjunction: false
    actors: {
      title: 'Actors',
      size: 10
    genres: {
      title: 'Genres',
      size: 10
  searchableFields: ['name', 'tags']

 * get filtered list of movies 
const movies ={
  per_page: 1,
  sort: 'name_asc',
  // full text search
  // query: 'forrest gump',
  filters: {
    tags: ['1980s']
console.log(JSON.stringify(movies, null, 2));

 * get list of top tags 
const top_tags = itemsjs.aggregation({
  name: 'tags',
  per_page: 10
console.log(JSON.stringify(top_tags, null, 2));

Test that with :

node search.js


If native full text search is not enough then you can integrate with external full text search.

How it works:

  • each item of your data needs to have id field. It can be also custom field but it needs to be defined.
  • native_search_enabled option in configuration should be disabled
  • index data once in your search and itemsjs
  • make search in your custom search and provide ids data into itemsjs
  • done!



const itemsjs = ItemsJS(data, [configuration])


The first data argument is an array of objects.


Responsible for defining global configuration. Look for full example here - configuration

  • aggregations filters configuration i.e. for tags, actors, colors, etc. Responsible for generating facets.

    Each filter can have it's own configuration. You can access those as buckets on the search() response.

    • title Human readable filter name
    • size Number of values provided for this filter (Default: 10)
    • sort Values sorted by count (Default) or key for the value name. This can be also an array of keys which define the sorting priority
    • order asc | desc. This can be also an array of orders (if sort is also array)
    • show_facet_stats true | false (Default) to retrieve the min, max, avg, sum rating values from the whole filtered dataset
    • conjunction true (Default) stands for an AND query (results have to fit all selected facet-values), false for an OR query (results have to fit one of the selected facet-values)
    • chosen_filters_on_top true (Default) Filters that have been selected will appear above those not selected, false for filters displaying in the order set out by sort and order regardless of selected status or not
    • hide_zero_doc_count true | false (Default) Hide filters that have 0 results returned
  • sortings you can configure different sortings like tags_asc, tags_desc with options and later use it with one key.

  • searchableFields an array of searchable fields.

  • native_search_enabled if native full text search is enabled (true | false. It's enabled by default)


  • per_page amount of items per page.

  • page page number - used for pagination.

  • query used for full text search.

  • sort used for sorting. one of sortings key

  • filters filtering items based on specific aggregations i.e. {tags: ['drama' , 'historical']}

  • filter function responsible for items filtering. The way of working is similar to js native filter function. See example

  • filters_query boolean filtering i.e. (tags:novel OR tags:80s) AND category:Western

  • isExactSearch set to true if you want to always show exact search matches. See lunr stemmer and lunr stopWordFilter.

  • removeStopWordFilter set to true if you want to remove the stopWordFilter. See #46.

  • is_all_filtered_items set to true if you want to return the whole filtered dataset.


It returns full list of filters for specific aggregation


  • name aggregation name
  • per_page filters per page
  • page page number
  • query used for quering filters. It's not full text search
  • conjunction true (Default) stands for an AND query, false for an OR query

itemsjs.similar(id, options)

It returns similar items to item for given id


  • field field name for computing similarity (i.e. tags, actors, colors)
  • minimum what is the minimum intersection between field of based item and similar item to show them in the result
  • per_page filters per page
  • page page number


It's used in case you need to reindex the whole data


An array of objects.