What Is a Search-Engine Database?

The search-engine database defined

A search-engine database is a type of nonrelational database that is dedicated to the search of data content. Search-engine databases use indexes to categorize the similar characteristics among data and facilitate search capability. Search-engine databases are optimized for dealing with data that may be long, semistructured, or unstructured, and they typically offer specialized methods such as full-text search, complex search expressions, and ranking of search results. 

Use cases

Search-engine databases can handle full-text search faster than relational databases. For example, an e-commerce website can use search-engine databases to provide instant autocompletes or suggestions for its customers. Search-engine databases can sort relevant results based on characteristics such as name, price, category, or release data, and display the results in a structured view. 

Logging and analysis

Maintaining larger applications that are either distributed across several nodes or consist of several smaller applications searching for events in log files can become tedious. Search-engine databases can handle the logging more efficiently. You can centralize your logs from different applications by indexing them using a search-engine database. For example you can see the logs of your Apache web server combined with the log files of your application server. Because all the information is available in real time, you can implement a visual representation of what is happening in your system in real time, which can help you to find problems more quickly. 

Popular search-engine databases

Amazon Elasticsearch Service

Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a fully managed service that delivers Elasticsearch’s easy-to-use APIs and real-time analytics capabilities alongside the availability, scalability, and security that production workloads require. The service offers built-in integrations with Kibana, Logstash, and AWS services including Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), AWS Key Management Service (KMS), Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose, AWS Lambda, Amazon Cognito and Amazon CloudWatch so that you can go from raw data to actionable insights quickly and securely. 

Get started with Amazon Elasticsearch Service today.

Splunk

Splunk is one of the leading platforms for operational intelligence, delivering an easy, fast, and secure way to search, analyze, and visualize the massive streams of machine data generated by your IT systems and technology infrastructure in the cloud. 

Use the AWS Splunk Enterprise Quick Start (also available in PDF format) to deploy a distributed Splunk Enterprise environment in the AWS Cloud. For more information about running Splunk on AWS, see the AWS Marketplace.