Eyüp Atiş

Full Text Search With Sunspot and Mongoid in Ruby on Rails


In this tutorial, we will implement a full text searching functionality with sunspot gem. Sunspot is a Solr powered search engine for ruby based projects. ORM of the tutorial is Mongoid.


First of all, we must add necessary gems to gemfile

group :development
  gem 'sunspot_solr'

gem 'sunspot_rails'
gem 'sunspot_mongoid'

sunspot_solr gem is added to development group because it will run only in development environment.

Now, we can run bundle command:

bundle install

We can use the generator of the sunpot gem for creating configuration file.

rails generate sunspot_rails:install

Then we can run Solr server:

bundle exec rake sunspot:solr:start

After these steps, our project now ready for implementation of searching functionality

Model Implementation

In the model of our project we will implement necessary steps for searching.

class Place
  include Mongoid::Document
  include Sunspot::Mongoid

  field :title
  field :address
  field :description

  belongs_to :category

  searchable do
    text :title, boost: 4
    text :address, :description, :category_name

  def category_name

We have fields like :title, :address, :description and one more searchable attribute as :category_name. We boosted :title field because we want to find more related searches in this field. And we searched our model with it’s association’s attribute. We created a method called category_name and we added it to searchable block.

Indexing Records

After initial implementation in the model layer, we have not indexes for doing searches properly. So we need to index all of our records according to searchable attributes. For doing this you can run rails console and index all records.


*There are another solutions for indexing the data but this one was enough for me.

Controller Implementation

We implemented our model and now we can search through them.

def search
  @search = Place.solr_search do
    fulltext params[:q]

  @places = @search.results

In this search method, we called a solr_search method on Place model and passed params[:q] to with fulltext method. Notice that we used solr_search method instead of search, because mongoid has also a method named search and they are conflicting in the Mongoid case.


We implemented a basic full text search functionality. Sunspot gem has advance configurations for more complicated situations and needs. If you find this useful, share it for other people.

This project is maintained by eyupatis