Saturday, May 29, 2010

Logically deleted entities in Hibernate Search

A recent project relies on Hibernate Search with a quite complex entity structure. We perform search on an entity that has several associated entities at multiple levels, and the search matches several text fields of the associated entities. Everything worked quite fine, although with 3.1.1.GA we had to workaround this bug: (already fixed in 3.1.2).

The problem came when we started logically deleting associated entities (using a "deleted" boolean field), because the search still matched for text values of the deleted entities, and there seemed to be no proper way to exlude these indexes (and I think there is really not, as the indexes in lucene are 'flat'). Fortunately the hibernate community helped me out:

In my parent entities I filtered out these deleted entites from the collections, but this didn't make Hibernate Search drop the related indexes. The solution suggested in the forum was to actually remove the deleted entities from the owner collection, so actually breaking the relation between the entities. This might not be a solution in every case - you might need to keep the relation - but it helped me fortunately.

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