As of 2015, we can compare Search API vs Apache Solr Search modules with the numbers:
| Apache Solr Search | Search API
Posted in: | 2007 | 2010
Downloads: | >2k | >20k
Reported installs: | >21k | >64k
Total bugs: | >1200 | >600
Active bugs: | >200 | >170
Commits: | >1.3k | >1.5k
which indicates the clear choice. Search API was developed 3 years after and it managed to take advantage of its competitor.
Further more, Search API provides a very different and more flexible architecture and it's being maintained more actively. What is more important, it has already support for the newest Drupal 8 and Solr 5.x which Apachesolr doesn't have yet.
Search API started fresh and it's more flexible in its configuration including Views support (for Apachesolr you need the extra module). There are also plenty of modules which extend its functionality.
Secondly to avoid some problems being solved twice by the community due to differences in architecture of these modules, currently there are some combined efforts between these two projects such as:
- creating the common way to show facets blocks via Facet API (also know as filters),
- a common schema and solrconfig.xml configuration files,
- both maintainers worked together and migrated the connection classes from the Apache Solr Search module into Search API.
Source: Battleplan for Search & Solr in Drupal 8 at Acquia
Note, it's not advised to use both modules in the same environment.
For further technical analysis of differences, please check the details below.
- Search API Autocomplete
- Saved Searches
- Pretty Facets Paths
- Slider (Search API Ranges)
- and many more.
- Different datasources
- One datasource: entities
Based on Entity API:
- Each property can be indexed
- Properties of related entities can be indexed
How to configure your index - fields:
Search API Views:
Search API Recipes:
- Attachments (no media support, custom coding for attachments to other entities)
- Location (Apachesolr geo, Apachesolr location)
- Open Source Enterprise Search Platform
- Apache Foundation
- Full-text search, highlighting, faceted search, clustering, rich document handling
- REST HTTP and answers in XML/JSON and some others
- Not Relational
Source: Search API vs Apachesolr slideshow