Today we’ve released one of the most powerful features of Atlas Search in public preview, and ready for your evaluation: lightning fast facets and counts over large data sets.
Faceted search allows users to filter and quickly navigate search results by categories and see the total number of results per category for at-a-glance statistics.
With the new facet operator, facet and count operations are pushed down into Atlas Search’s embedded Lucene index and processed locally – taking advantage of 20+ years of Lucene optimizations – before returning the faceted result set back to the application.
What this means is that now facet-heavy workloads such as ecommerce product catalogs, content libraries, and counts run up to 100x faster.
The power of facets and counts in full-text search
Faceting is a popular search and analytics capability that allows an application to group information into related categories by applying filters to query results. Users can narrow their search results by simply selecting a facet value as a filter criteria. They can intuitively explore complex data sets, providing fast and convenient navigation to quickly drill into the data that is of most interest.
A common use of faceting is navigating product catalogs. With travel starting to reopen, let's take a travel site as an example. By using faceted search, the site can present vacation options by destination region, trip type (i.e. hotel, self-catering, beach, ski, city break), price band, season, and more, enabling users to quickly navigate to the category that is most relevant to them.
Facets also enable fast results counting. Extending our travel site example, business analysts can use facets to quickly compare sales statistics by counting the number of trips sold by region and season.
Prior to the new facet operator, the only way Atlas Search could facet and count data was to retrieve the entire result set back to MongoDB’s internal $facet aggregation pipeline stage. While that was OK for smaller data sets, it became slow when the result set exceeded tens of thousands of documents.
This all changes as now operations are pushed down to Atlas Search’s embedded and optimized Lucene library in a single $search pipeline stage. From our internal testing of a collection with one million documents, the new Atlas Search faceting improves performance by 100x.
How to use faceting in Atlas Search
Our new Atlas Search facets tutorial will help you get started. It describes how to:
Create an index with a facet definition on string, date, and numeric fields in the sample_mflix.movies collection.
Then run an Atlas Search query against those fields for results grouped by values for the string field and by ranges for the date and numeric fields, including the count for each of those groups.
To use Atlas Search facets, you must be running your Atlas cluster on MongoDB 4.4.11 and above or MongoDB 5.0.4 and above. These clusters must be running on the M10 tier or higher. Facets and counts currently work on non-sharded collections. Support for sharded collections is scheduled for next year.
The power of Atlas Search in a unified application data platform in the cloud
MongoDB Atlas Search makes it easy to build fast, relevant full-text search on top of your data in the cloud. A couple of API calls or clicks in the Atlas UI, and you instantly expose your data to sophisticated search experiences that boost engagement and improve satisfaction with your applications. Your data is immediately more discoverable, usable, and valuable.
By embedding the Apache Lucene library directly alongside your database, data is automatically synchronized with the search index; developers get to work with a single API; there is no separate system to run and pay for; and everything is fully-managed for you on any cloud you choose.
Atlas Search provides the power you get with Lucene — including faceted navigation, autocomplete, fuzzy search, built-in analyzers, highlighting, custom scoring, and synonyms — combining it with the productivity you get fromMongoDB. As a result, developers can ship search applications and new features 30%+ faster.
You can try out Atlas Search with the public preview of lightning-fast facets and counts today:
If you are new to Atlas Search, simply spin up a cluster (M10 tier or above) and get started with our Atlas Search facets tutorial.
If you are already using Atlas Search on M10 tiers and above then update your indexes to use the facet field mapping, and then start querying! Your data remains searchable while it is being re-indexed.
If you want to dig into the use cases you can serve with Atlas Search — along with users who are already taking advantage of it today — download our new Atlas Search whitepaper.
The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion. This information is merely intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision nor is this a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code, or functionality.