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🔍 Algolia Search - New Plugin from Zeroqode

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This plugin allows integrating Algolia’s powerful search-as-a-service solution, which will make the search inside your Bubble app superfast. The plugin comes with a workflow action to send data to Algolia for indexing and then searching through that data in Algolia becomes lightening fast.

Algolia%20Search

Here is the plugin page: https://zeroqode.com/plugin/algolia-search-1540375006836x287114215703707650

Levon Terteryan

Founder @ Zeroqode

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13 Likes

How does this compare to the Search & Autocorrect plugin?

Nice work @levon

Can this be used to improve RG load speed? i.e. My app has a social feed similar to Instagram. Can I send the posts (with Images) to Algolia to index and then display in an RG?

Thanks, Greg,
not sure about the images, if they are simply links then I guess should be possible and yes, it should improve the RG load times…
check out this thread where users shared their experience with Algolia

1 Like

@robert the search plugin simply uses the Bubble data without caching, Algolia is supposed to be faster. Speed is the crucial difference here

2 Likes

@levon Thanks for the quick reply. Can you guestimate how much faster? For example, with 100,000 records to search, are we talking a 50% improvement…10 seconds to 5 seconds, or a 90% improvement…10 seconds to 1 second?

It’s really difficult to guesstimate and best is to experiment (if you subscribe to the plugin and use it only 1-2 days you will be charged only for those days not the full month)
also i suggest to read how others experimented with this at the link to the thread above

this one

1 Like

@Robert, Algolia is lightning fast. For context, 10-second searches in Bubble are often completed in 10-milliseconds in Algolia (yes, that’s 1000x faster).

In fact, I believe nearly all of their searches are completed within 20 miliseconds (more details) which is consistent with our experience using Algolia over the last few weeks. For context, anything faster than 50 to 200ms is typically considered instant by most people – more specifically, autosuggest needs to be ~50ms to feel instant whereas a new object coming onto the page needs to be ~200ms to feel instant.

So, Algolia is amazingly fast. And, it’ll almost certainly be a game changer for many Bubble apps - both with Search and with loading RGs. (yes, it can load lists of RGs in 10-20ms too!)

But, it’s not the perfect solution for everything. And, there’s a few reasons for that:

  1. You must create indexes of your data in Algolia for Algolia to work. This is somewhat like creating a copy of your tables in Algolia. And, it takes a bit or work to set this up and keep them in sync. And, more than anything, when there are bugs in workflows you run that cause them to be out of sync then you need to get them back in sync if you want everything indexed in Algolia. Entirely doable, but not entirely trivial.
  2. Algolia searches only work on a single index (no joining indexes/tables after they’re created) - but, you can create an index that works as if two tables were joined. This adds to the complexity of keeping your tables in sync with the indexes because they no longer map in an apples to apples manner, but it does enable you to run lightnight fast searches on a single index in Algolia that you might be running across numerous tables in Bubble today.
  3. Setting up new indexes in Algolia takes materially more time/effort than getting a search set-up directly in Bubble (mainly because Bubble is so good at making these types of things easy). Setting up new indexes isn’t prohibitive in terms of time/effort, per se, but it’s something that most apps will only want to do for core features (e.g., site-wide search, primary RG feeds, etc.). Bigger apps with more traffic may find that it’s useful to use in even more places.
  4. Algolia is an extra service that doesn’t come super cheap at large scale. It is free to get started and it is much, much cheaper than building their infrastructure yourself. But, for production applications with lots of data changing and lots of complex indexes, it seems like the price can add up. Almost certainly worth the price for most, but something to be aware of.

All in all, Algolia is likely to be a huge performance boost for many Bubble apps and in a way that’s potentially game changing for Bubble. It’s not a cure for all performance problems, but it will radically improve search and RG performance, both of which have been huge constraints for production-grade applications on Bubble. I, for one, am super excited to see how other members of the community begin to incorporate Algolia into their products.

@Levon, great to see you helping Algolia go mainstream within the Bubble Community by making it easier for everyone to benefit from Algolia’s capabilities. Keep it up!

11 Likes

Hey Scott,
thanks a lot for such a comprehensive feedback! :raised_hands:

2 Likes

The Search & Autocorrect (S&A) plugin requires you to load the list of possible answers to the page before it can search between them. So, if you want to load a list of 100 “things” then it may take 10+ seconds before the S&A plugin can work. If you want to load 1,000 things then it’s perhaps 10x longer. As such, the S&A plugin works great for small data sets, but it isn’t viable for large data sets.

With Algolia, the search runs against Algolia’s index of your data (on their server). So, there’s no data to load to the page before it’s used (i.e., users can use it instantly and it won’t slow page load speeds) and Algolia has been designed with the idea that miliiseconds matter and their response times are insanely fast - I think I saw their average response was 8ms. It’s a bit more complex to set-up and manage, but it works for small and large data sets. Furthermore, there are even more advanced conditions you can set-up in the responses including things like personalizing results to different users based on their geography or past search history.

Good job levon.
For those that are not sure about algolia’s pricing here is a link to their price calculator.

2 Likes

Hi Levon. I already installed that plugin. Could you explain how can I upload my data to algoria pls?
Thanks a lot.
Ünver

ok solved. Thx

1 Like

I’m going to second @sridharan.s’s comments. I messed around with Algolia a bit and it’s super neat but not exactly easy to integrate with Bubble. (Purely experimental – I don’t really have a use case for it at the moment.) Happy to see Zeroqode’s attempt at making this easier to explore and potentially use in one’s Bubble apps.

For those interested in how they might take advantage of Algolia, I find it interesting to look at producthunt.com. They use Algolia to power their product search bar. If you mess around with the site (particularly if you launch/list a product there), you’ll notice that they don’t constantly update their Algolia index. It’s only products that reach a certain number of upvotes that eventually get added to that index. (And it seems to take a day or two or three for that to happen.)

So that’s kind of a model for how one might use Algolia in a Bubble project. (@sridharan.s’s use – which seems very much geared toward keeping Algolia updated in near real time – is pretty ambitious and impressive!)

3 Likes

@levon Is the searchbox field required and can this search be done with using checkboxes and conditions like search is done normally with the bubble RGs?

@boostsalesgroup Hello.

Yes, you’ll need a input field for the plugin to work. However not sure what are trying to achieve with checkbox usage tho and what kind of conditions.
Algolia’s indexing and retrieving data through search bar like capabilities work quite well with bubble tools.
Give it a look and try out our demo page - https://zeroqode-demo-11.bubbleapps.io/algolia_search

Regards,
Zeroqode Team.

Just adding other filtering options too. I have played with a demo a bit.

You might get the idea from this:

Can this search box be hidden and dynamically populated?

What I’m really after here is to have a faster loading for repeating groups that are inside a monthly calendar view build on using repeating group. Bubble search is too slow for that at the moment

We’re are working on the updating the plugin’s functionality and offer a more detailed documentation on implementing other use cases, so the one you’ve described should be possible to realize.
We’ll notify the status for the update asap.

Thanks for understanding.

Regards,
Zeroqode Team.

1 Like

Sounds good! I’m just looking for a normal search on filter functionality to work without a search box