If you haven’t heard about the cool new search indexer Sonic you must be living under a rock! If you want to read about Sonic directly from the author, check out his blog post on why and how they went on building the tool.

According to the Sonic page, it is:

Fast, lightweight & schema-less search backend. An alternative to Elasticsearch that runs on a few MBs of RAM.

There are some main points on the site that outline some of the main features:

  • Search terms are stored in collections, organized in buckets
  • Search results return object identifiers
  • Search query typos are corrected
  • Insert and remove items in the index at the same time
  • Auto-complete any word in real-time via the suggest operation
  • Full Unicode compatibility on 80+ languages
  • Built as a TCP protocol

All these items make this an ideal candidate for the Laravel Scout search tool. Scout expects your search engine to return IDs that then get mapped to your query builder which will apply further transformations like WHERE clauses and pagination.

I took it upon myself to write a driver for Sonic. You can find it on my Github at Laravel Scout Sonic Driver and you can also install it via composer with the following command:

composer require james2doyle/laravel-scout-sonic

You will need to add some extra config information to config/scout.php before you can use everything correctly. Just checkout the README.md because all the instructions are in there.