LucidWorks recently changed its name (from Lucid Imagination), but the Redwood City, Calif.-based company remains laser focused on delivering powerful data-centric application development platforms.
In fact, the company streamlined its product offerings, eliminating multiple community and enterprise editions to focus on just two core products: LucidWorks Search and LucidWorks Big Data. Both the name and product changes are meant to reduce confusion and reiterate the company’s core mission – helping enterprises and developers build powerful and scalable data-focused applications, CEO Paul Doscher told me in a recent conversation.
LucidWorks Search is the company’s flagship product. It’s an application development platform built on top of the open source enterprise search projects Apache Lucene and Apache Solr. It’s designed to allow developers to build enterprise-grade, search-based applications without needing to write complex code. The platform can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premise, Doscher said, and in fact some customers have chosen to experiment with the platform in the cloud and then migrate to on-premise installations for production deployments.
About three months ago, as I covered here, Doscher and his team announced a second platform, LucidWorks Big Data, which adds Apache Hadoop to the mix alongside Lucene Solr to allow developers to build Big Data applications with both search and large-scale analytic functionality.
LucidWorks Big Data entered private beta in May and the company received over 50 applications to join the program, Doscher said. LucidWorks selected just a handful of the most promising submissions and co-development continues.
While he couldn’t reveal the companies involved in the private beta, Doscher did provide some interesting use cases he’s seen thus far. A large university in the Southeast US, for example, is using the platform to develop an application for emergency response personnel. It draws on large sets of publicly available data to let users determine cause-and-effect relationships between events leading up to a natural catastrophe.
LucidWorks efforts to integrate enterprise search and Big Data analytics into a single application development platform is important because it is aimed squarely at an area that needs addressing – Big Data Applications. Ultimately, foundational technologies like Lucene Solr, Hadoop and other Big Data platforms are not ends in themselves. They are enablers. For enterprises to derive real value from them, they must enable enterprise developers to easily and quickly build compelling applications that let end-users turn Big Data insights into actions.
Be on the lookout for LucidWorks Big Data to go GA sometime later this year. In the meantime, below is an interesting discussion with Doscher from inside theCUBE at Hortonworks’ Hadoop Summit in June.