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How To Improve Database Searches with Full-Text Search in MySQL 5.6 on Ubuntu 16.04

05/11/2017 Aucun commentaire

Introduction

Full-text search, or FTS, is a technique used by search engines to find results in a database. You can use it to power search results on websites like shops, search engines, newspapers, and more.

More specifically, FTS retrieves documents that don’t perfectly match the search criteria. Documents are database entities containing textual data. This means that when a user searches for « cats and dogs », for example, an application backed by FTS is able to return results which contain the words separately (just « cats » or « dogs »), contain the words in a different order (« dogs and cats »), or contain variants of the words (« cat » or « dog »). This gives applications an advantage in guessing what the user means and returning more relevant results faster.

Technically speaking, database management systems (DBMS) like MySQL usually allow partial text lookups using LIKE clauses. However, these requests tend to underperform on large datasets. They’re also limited to matching the user’s input exactly, which means a query might produce no results even if there are documents with relevant information.

Using FTS, you can build a more powerful text search engine without introducing extra dependencies on more advanced tools. In this tutorial, you will use MySQL 5.6 to query a database using full-text search, then quantify the results by their relevance to the search input and display only the best matches.

 

Prerequisites

Before you begin this tutorial, you will need:

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