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Seek and ye shall find

By Ismail Mayat, The Cogworks.

For those of you who have been keeping up with recent changes to Umbraco training courses and certifications you may have noticed on the Umbraco.com training page that there is now an option to book a place on the ‘Searching and indexing with Examine’ course.

Examine fun

But first, let’s go back in time…

Before we discuss the big reveal, let’s go back a couple of years.

It’s 2009, Michael Jackson moonwalked for the last time, Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States and in Australia a young super developer named Shannon Deminick, releases Examine.

Before Examine, in the Umbraco world we only had the umbSearch package which provided search functionality using Lucene.net. Some of the more notable issues with it were usability and performance, particularly with large websites. Umbraco was in need of a good search solution...Examine was born!

Examine is a wrapper around Lucene.net and UmbracoExamine is a specialised Examine provider for Umbraco content. UmbracoExamine makes it easy to index and search Umbraco content.

I have been using it since day one and after a few projects became quite an expert if I do say so myself 😉. Over time I started to see more and more people having similar problems with it on our.umbraco.org. It wasn’t a problem with Examine per se it was more the lack of understanding of how it works and more importantly how Lucene.net works.

Answering the same questions again and again gave me the idea that I should hold a talk on Examine at the Umbraco UK festival and in 2012 I presented a talk entitled Examiness hints and tips from the trenches. I followed up this talk with a series of blog posts detailing key tips from my original talk. Both the talk and blog posts went down really well and I received a lot of positive feedback.

Over the years as well as helping out on our.umbraco.org I have helped people out via Skype, Twitter, Slack and again the same issues seem to crop up. During these sessions a number of people remarked that we really need a course on all this stuff.

So this seed germinated into a boot camp course which I then ran at Umbraco UK Festival in 2015. The course consisted of five exercises based on five topics from my talk in 2013. Again it went down really well and garnered plenty of positive feedback. One thing I noticed while writing and running the course was that I actually had enough material to run a full one-day course.

So, given that Examine is part of the Umbraco core and search is an essential part of any website I suggested to Adam Shallcross, our joint CEO at The Cogworks, that we should propose the idea of a one day official Examine course to Umbraco HQ and include it as part of their training offering.

Adam approached Umbraco HQ and as they say, the rest is history!

So, we at The Cogworks in partnership with Umbraco HQ are really excited and proud to announce the newly created one day Searching and Indexing examine course.

What to expect from the new course

The course consists of 13 exercises covering the following topics:

  • Lucene.net internals
  • Examine configuration
  • Examine Fluent API
  • Examine events, gathering node and document writing
  • How to debug Examine queries
  • Indexing and searching PDFs
  • Boosting
  • How to build your own custom indexer
  • Multi-index search
  • Multilingual search
  • Indexing complex data types
  • Spatial search with Lucene.net contrib
  • Faceting

As well as these exercises there will be plenty of time for group discussions on Examine and search in general - my favourite 2 tech topics! So here’s hoping delegates will bring along some juicy problems to solve!

After the one-day course there will be a 20 question exam with an 80% pass mark. Bribes can be paid in Prince polo XXL’s (joking - although feel free to bring some along when you attend the course 😉). Like all official Umbraco one-day training courses, you’ll earn yourself 50 certification points after passing the exam.

Sign-up for the course

So when will it all begin? Soon! We have already had a full trial run with fellow Cogworker guinea pigs to fine tune and feedback from HQ which has been incorporated into the course material.

The first Searching and Indexing with Examine course is on the 27th March 2017 in Manchester, and you can secure your seat at the world premiere right here.

I hope to see some of you there or at one of the other planned sessions over the next few months!




The Searching and Indexing with Examine course will be available worldwide later this year. We will keep you posted here on the Umbraco blog for more details including what this new course means for current Umbraco Certified Masters.

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