Nova eZ Algolia Search Engine

Novactive eZ Algolia Search Engine is an eZ Platform bundle to provide Algolia search integration.

Novactive eZ Algolia Search Engine Bundle


This repository is what we call a "subtree split": a read-only copy of one directory of the main repository. It is used by Composer to allow developers to depend on specific bundles.

If you want to report or contribute, you should instead open your issue on the main repository: https://github.com/Novactive/Nova-eZPlatform-Bundles

Documentation is available in this repository via .md files but also packaged here: https://novactive.github.io/Nova-eZPlatform-Bundles/master/NovaeZAlgoliaSearchEngine/README.md.html


Novactive eZ Algolia Search Engine is an eZ Platform bundle to provide Algolia search integration, enabling you to use the Algolia Search Engine to index the data and to search.

Thanks to these 3 main features:

  • eZ Repository Search Service Handler implementation: All basic use cases that are used by eZ Platform to retrieve the contents and locations are managed by this bundle behind the scene thanks to the Repository Search Service. This bunble implements all the visitors that enable the conversion from eZ Query instance (including Criterions, Sort Clauses, Facet Builders) into the request that is sent to Algolia.
  • Algolia PHP Client integration: Content items are automatically indexed and you can execute Algolia queries directly bypassing the SearchService if you need to. Option is possible to hydrate results into Content or Location if needed.
  • Algolia Front End: One of the many Algolia's benefits is the Frontend Components they provide to execute/implement the search using Front End technologies. Simplifying development and providing insane performances. This bundle provides an example of that integration with React JS, with no style, and with Twitter Bootstrap.

Installation

Requirements

  • eZ Platform 3.1+
  • PHP 7.3

Installation steps

Add the following to your composer.json and run composer update novactive/ezalgoliasearchengine to install dependencies:

# composer.json

"require": {
    "novactive/ezalgoliasearchengine": "^1.0.0"
}

Javascript dependencies

cd ezplatform
yarn add --dev algoliasearch react react-collapsible react-dom react-instantsearch-dom

Register the bundle

If Symfony Flex did not do it already, activate the bundle in config\bundles.php file.

// config\bundles.php

return [
    Symfony\Bundle\FrameworkBundle\FrameworkBundle::class => ['all' => true],
    ...
    Novactive\Bundle\eZAlgoliaSearchEngine\NovaEzAlgoliaSearchEngine::class => ['all' => true],
];

Add routes

_novaezalgoliasearchengine_routes:
    resource: '@NovaEzAlgoliaSearchEngine/Resources/config/routing.yaml'

ENV variables

The SEARCH_ENGINE environment variable should be set to algolia

Configuration

nova_ezalgoliasearchengine:
    system:
        default:
            index_name_prefix: PREFIX
            app_id: APPLICATION_ID
            api_secret_key: ADMIN_API_KEY
            api_search_only_key: SEARCH_ONLY_PAI_KEY
            license_key: "CONTACT NOVACTIVE: direction.technique@novactive.com to get your trial"

webpack_encore:
    builds:
        nova_ezalgolia: "%kernel.project_dir%/public/assets/nova_ezalgolia/build"

framework:
    assets:
        packages:
            nova_ezalgolia:
                json_manifest_path: '%kernel.project_dir%/public/assets/nova_ezalgolia/build/manifest.json'

The Algolia Application should be created on https://www.algolia.com/ to retrieve the Application ID and the API secret keys. They can be found on the API Keys page of the Algolia dashboard.

After having installed the package the following command should be run to init the Indexes on Algolia and set up the search attributes, sort indexes and facets:

bin/console nova:ez:algolia:indexes:setup

Usage

Query Criterions

All the Criterions created inside the eZ Queries as a filter or query field are transformed into the Algolia filter string like

doc_type_s:content AND (content_type_identifier_s:"article")

Limitations on Criterions

A few of the main Criterions are not implemented yet:

  • Sibling (coming soon)
  • ObjectStateIdentifier (coming soon)
  • UserEmail (coming soon)
  • UserId (coming soon)
  • UserLogin (coming soon)
  • IsUserBased (coming soon)
  • IsUserEnabled (coming soon)
  • MapLocationDistance

The User related criterions are not implemented yet because most of them are either included in the UserMetaData Criterion.

The MapLocationDistance Criterion is not implemented because the Algolia geo location filter option doesn't allow uss to manage multiple fields of this type within the same document. Filtering by location can be done using the specific request options of the Algolia Search method. Here is the example:

    $query->setRequestOption('aroundLatLng', '37.7512306, -122.4584587');
    $query->setRequestOption('aroundRadius', 3000);

The documentation on this subject can be found here.

The _geoloc attribute is already included in the Algolia document by default for the contents that have the Map Location fields.

Another constraints are inside the Logical operators. They are:

  • FullText Criterion cannot be inside LogicalNot or LogicalOr operator because it's moved to the Algoalia's query string request. Algolia works this way.
  • AND operator cannot be inside LogicalNot criterion;
  • AND/OR operator cannot be inside LogicalOr criterion.

You can find more info on the specific boolean filters on Algolia documentation here.

The full Algolia information about how the filtering works can be found here.

Sorting

Sorting with Algolia is based on top of Replicas. Each Replica is a duplicated index with specific configuration on attributes on which the documents are sorted. The attributes that are used to generate the Replicas can be set in the attributes_for_replicas config parameter.

When using the eZ Query the sortClauses field assigned to the Query instance is converted into the Replica key.

Reindexing

All the data (Content and Location items) are pushed to the Algolia Index using the bin/console ezplatform:reindex command. All of them (except those specified in exclude_content_types parameter or only those included in include_content_types parameter) are converted to a specific format and sent to Algolia via saveObjects method. Also each particular Content of allowed Content Type (included or not excluded) is pushed to the Index once published on Ez Platform admin dashboard.

Front End Implementation

The Search page with /search url is overridden with custom Search controller implemented in the Bundle. The specific routing configuration is used for that:

ezplatform.search:
    path: /search
    methods: ['GET']
    defaults:
        _controller: 'Novactive\Bundle\eZAlgoliaSearchEngine\Controller\SearchController::searchAction'

The source code of the Front End implementation with React components can be found in the search.jsx file. All the main widgets are included there and can be used as examples of their implementation. The information on React InstantSearch component basic installation and widgets showcases can be also found in the docs:

Security Notes

To restrict the scope of an API key the Secured API keys are used. The Secured API key can be only generated from Search-only API key from the Algolia API keys list. This kind of API key is used when performing the Search method and to prevent possible malicious request tweaks to impersonate another user, so it's done on the Back End side.

In other words, based on the currernt User Permissions, this bundle queries Algolia including permission-related implicit filters to avoid data leaks.

More info here.

When performing the saveObjects method to create, update or delete the entries of the Ined the Admin API key is used.

Advanced Usage

Exclude/Include Content Types from indexation

You can select which Content Types to include or exclude from the Index. Use the following config parameters to exclude or include the specific content types:

  • nova_ezalgoliasearchengine.default.exclude_content_types
  • nova_ezalgoliasearchengine.default.include_content_types

The include parameter is checked first and hence has the priority. By default all the content types are saved to the Index except User and User Group.

There are also the following parameters:

  • Searchable Attributes;
  • Attributes for Faceting;
  • Attributes to Retrieve;
  • Attributes for Replicas (used for sorting);

You can see the default list of the attributes that are sent to Algolia in the Deafult Settings.

To send all those setting to Algolia use the bin/console nova:ez:algolia:indexes:setup command.

Using the Query Factory to generate the custom queries

If you want to create more specific custom request that can be achieved with the Search Query Factory service Novactive\Bundle\eZAlgoliaSearchEngine\Core\Search\SearchQueryFactory. When using it all the request parameters should be specified manually, i.e search term, filters, facets etc. like in the following example:

    $query = $this->searchQueryFactory->create(
        'term',
        'content_type_identifier_s:"article"',
        ['doc_type_s']
    );
    $query->setRequestOption('attributesToRetrieve', ['content_name_s']);

The Replica can be also specified manually:

    $query = $this->searchQueryFactory->create(
        '',
        'content_language_codes_ms:"eng-GB"',
    );
    $query->setReplicaByAttribute('location_id_i');

Then the created Query instance should be passed to one of the methods of Novactive\Bundle\eZAlgoliaSearchEngine\Core\Search\Search service depending on the type of search:

  • findContents
  • findLocations
  • find (for the raw search).

There is also an event that enables you to tweak the Query created by the factory. Novactive\Bundle\eZAlgoliaSearchEngine\Event\QueryCreateEvent

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