The journey ahead for Search & Navigation (A.K.A. Find)
Hi dear customer, partner and colleague.
Today marks 365 days since I joined Epi as Product Director for DXP. During my first 11 months at this company the Find product and service was managed by a colleague of mine, but its whereabouts was always on the radar of several reasons. The main reason was (and still is) that Find is a corner stone in our Customer-Centric Digital Experience Platform (DXP). It needs to operate as a clockwork and allow customers and partners to innovate and deliver a great end-user experience.
What happened last year:
- Release of a new backend which improved our capabilities to provision more capacity and new service clusters (internal name is version 3.0)
- Development started of next generation Search & Navigation service (we call it version 4.0)
Listening to you, our customers and partners, in January and early February helped us put new spotlight on our plans and current efforts. The focus on delivering a great customer-experience 24/7/365 had to improve. Of that reason the roadmap for Episerver Search & Navigation (the name Find has from now on) has just been updated.
Here’s summary of the changes we have made, and decisions taken since January 2020:
- Since Mid February we have been working version 3.5 of the service to provide further stability improvements for existing customers, improved incident management and enable rich analytics and telemetry for us internally and for you as a user of the service. This is our focus in Q1-Q2 2020.
- As a developer you probably know find.episerver.com (AKA the Find Demo service) and one thing is clear, it’s more than “a demo service” despite its name. It’s where many developers get their indexes for development projects. It must work, otherwise our partners and customers can’t work. So, we have after recent issues tripled its capacity and will work on improving the developer experience going forward. Any feedback on how to update this service and how it relates to the paid Developer Indexes is greatly appreciated!
- The exciting work on the next generation Search & Navigation service (version 4.0) will continue in Q2, enabling the service to run on a totally new modern architecture with improved functionality around individualization, performance and search accuracy. Keep an eye open for the beta program that will be announced mid-2020.
Improving the customer experience is crucial, and I promise that we will be even more transparent with you going forward. If you’re a customer to the Digital Experience Platform, you will soon see your daily Search & Navigation usage, uptime and performance in the DXP Management portal in Q2 together with other interesting usage data.
Thanks for reading this and I would love to get your feedback in the comments field below. I'll get back to you with a new update on our progress in month or so.
Product Director for Episerver Search & Navigation (Find), and the Digital Experience Platform
Sounds great, having working with Find for many years the developer index has been such a key part of development. Although as far as I understand it you get 4 indexes now when on a DXP tier (at least that's what I was told a year ago) 3 for DXP (Integration, Pre Prod, Production) and one for Local development. Unless this has changed? But dev indexes are great for extra testing and work, the most annoying think is the constant expiry IMO. Although having them go down a lot about a year ago was pretty disrupting.
But as such as great service I can't wait until v4.0. Hopefully an early show and tell will be in the EMVP webinars soon as I'd really like to see it.
I will piggy back on Scott's comments. Having a local index that doens't expire after 30 days is a feature that you should evaluate. I get that that it is for testing, and some dev work but the clients that do use Find, having to re-new a dev demo / find license every 30 days, as well as the limit of 10000 items is a PITA. I would like to to see a partner dev license like the cms license that at least last a year and have a higher threshold for items. 10,000 seems like a lot until you index assets. That climbs rapidly.
With that say, thank you for the hard work you are putting into this and can't wait for v4.
Where can we find some information about this mysterious fourth index? One thing that I know will be hard for me is not calling it FIND anymore.
Also, Joshua, one thing that has been useful to us in dealing with the 10,000 limit is excluding some types of items locally. Here is what we are doing: https://world.episerver.com/blogs/kennyg/dates/2017/12/staying-under-the-document-limit-when-using-the-find-developer-index/
Kenny, just contact Episerver support and you will get access to a fourth index.
Same feedback regarding the expiration time of a dev index.
Impact at our end is quite heavy, as we need also use such indexes for our CI environment. For the moment we have 8 build servers, 8 indexes to maintain. Quite a juggle every 30 days, and they always expire with the worst timing... :) :/
We could by additional licenses, but fullblown licenses are too expensive IMHO for CI / CD pipelines and developers. (8 build servers + 7 developers).
Ideally (next to change expiration time) we can create dev indexes on the fly through an api. Would be very handy for our CI environments. We create index / run, delete afterwards.