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Using the Search API module

This documentation page describes features and procedures for a limited availability release, and its contents may change at any time. Acquia does not recommend bookmarking this page as its location may change without notice.
The following documentation is for Acquia Search with Solr 4. Acquia Search with Solr 7 will support the Search API module with delayed availability.

Best practices for using Search API

The biggest thing to consider, if you choose Search API, is the time it takes to learn how to configure the module as intended. Since Search API has such extensive configuration options, mistakes are more common. When you consider scaling a website you must make conscious choices.

For example:

  • Never do any text processing in Drupal. For example, the Search API processors, such as stopwords and synonyms, can be configured in Solr itself.
  • Ensure you understand the memory footprint of the search page, and that the page is consistent with your server resources and configuration. Consider that search is a random result based on user input. When you use views and view modes to render your search results, you should either use the Solr fields to theme, or ensure your cache is large enough and your server is fast enough to render the entities returned on the search page. Entity caching makes a huge difference.
  • Multisite searching in Search API (not multi-index searching, which is called search_api_multi) is difficult to achieve due to the architecture of Search API. The main intention wasn’t to display content not relying on entities in the current website. Multisite can mean Drupal multisite, or a combination of Drupal websites with a different codebase.


The following instructions are for Drupal 7. For Drupal 8 information, see Modules for Acquia Search documentation.

As an alternative to using the Apache Solr Search Integration module, Acquia Search supports using the Search API module. For most Drupal 7-based websites, Acquia recommends you use the Apache Solr Search Integration and related modules instead. Based on experience helping Acquia Search subscribers, Acquia recommends using the Apache Solr Search Integration module. This module results in a more scalable search solution that integrates and performs better with Apache Solr, and is easier to configure and maintain.