Solving Problems With Code Gone Mad... srch.io

Written By : Kevin Lawver

Rails Machine has a long history of helping companies scale their apps from a single virtual server to dozens of dedicated servers. We don’t talk a lot about it because, well, we’re nerds not marketers. We’ve been around since 2006 and spent a lot of time helping Rails apps of all sizes meet their potential. We love it and think we’re pretty good at it.

We decided in November of last year that it was time to see if we could do more than just be a badass group of operations and scaling geeks and actually go build our own app.

When looking for problems we could help solve, we wanted to make sure that it was something our customers have encountered and one that’s caused operational issues for us. We found one - search. It’s one of the last things we see developers add to their apps, but one of the most important features for users, especially for commerce or content plays. It’s also extremely difficult to do well - from knowing what to index, to providing relevant results, to scaling it. Most of the open source solutions have fatal flaws (if they’re easy to set up, they don’t scale; if they scale well, they’re impossible to set up). Even most of the commercial products out there have their own issues.

Introducing srch.io! Our goal is to provide a solution that’s easy for developers to adopt, affordable for companies with limited resources, and that won’t keep us up at night with operational issues. For a first release, we think we’ve achieved those goals. We know there will be bugs and we’ll need to keep iterating to keep ourselves and our customers happy, but we can’t wait for you to play with it and give us feedback!

Personally, my favorite thing about srch.io is that you can add search to your app without writing a single line of code - just by pointing us at things you may already be producing: sitemaps and feeds. If you set those up, and add some CSS selectors to get just the content you want indexed, you can end up with super relevant results without having to do anything other than use a wizard and type in a couple of fields.

We also have a simple API you can use to add custom documents, a shiny new gem you can use in your apps, and a handy little javascript library you can use to easily add search to your site.

Some details: your first month is free, and your first 1,000 searches, index requests and documents are free (so if you never do more than 1,000 of anything in a month, it’ll be free forever and ever).

And, since you’re reading our blog, you’re probably either a customer or a friend, so here’s a coupon code that’ll get you a shiny 10% off forever and ever: SRCHBFFS.

OK, I’ve rambled long enough. We’d be honored if you’d check out the product, give us some feedback and sign up. You can also follow along with the fun with @srchio.