How to combine effective keyword search with structured data criteria

I'm curious what solutions people are employing to provide effective solutions for searching text and structured data in combination.

For example, I have a collection of documents stored in a database and I need to make them searchable using both keywords and categories. The categories are stored using a typical, normalized database structure and are exposed to the user as checkboxes and select lists on the search form. In this case, for a document to match the search, it has to match the keyword phrase and also be associated with all of the categories selected by the user. The user can omit either the keyword phrase or categories and just search using one or the other.

I have the category part handled. But how to get effective text search to go with that is trickier. The application is running on PHP 4 & MySQL 4.1. I'm currently using MySQL's full-text search features, but they leave quite a bit to be deed -- e.g. there's no stemming, it doesn't ignore punctuation, etc.

I'm interested in finding out how other developers have effectively handled this kind of situation. I'm considering ditching, or at least supplementing, MySQL's full-text search in favor of some more effective keyword search solution. I've been taking a look at Google Site Search for example. I think that would probably provide a more effective text search solution than using MySQL full-text, but I don't know that there'd be a way to integrate that with the structured data that needs to be part of the criteria for searches in my app.

Any suggestions

Posted On: Thursday 25th of October 2012 10:50:29 PM Total Views:  528
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