OCTO Technology is a consulting firm specializing in new technologies and the challenges of digital transformation. Headquartered in Paris, it’s recognized for its technological expertise and innovative approach.

"The searchable page with Meilisearch is really fast and efficient. Meilisearch allows us to meet the customers’ needs with a turnkey solution and reactive support." - Simon Belbeoch, Tech Lead/Manager at Octo Technology

OCTO Technology uses Meilisearch for its client, an undisclosed customer. The customer runs a platform that aims to connect young people with relevant job opportunities, allowing them to search all kinds of information about integrating into working life. The project involved implementing a search feature to look through data consolidated from various sources.

Given the specific needs of their sector, the client strongly preferred an open-source solution from the beginning. Other decision-making factors included good performance and greater control over data, allowing users to search through a comprehensive list of jobs to find their ideal offer quickly.

Challenge

The client faced search challenges that required a specific solution, not just standard configurations or a generic search engine. Their website had custom fields that required custom programming. They aimed to replace their previous search engine, Algolia, with a new Meilisearch solution, without compromising on functionality or performance

The task became more complex due to the need to aggregate data from various partners in differing formats and manage incomplete data to ensure a consistent search experience across the platform. OCTO’s customer also required more control over search results and sought integration with their CMS, Strapi, for better data control.

Why OCTO chose Meilisearch

Before settling for a specific search provider, OCTO Technology ran a few different scenarios on behalf of its customer and explored the following solutions:

  • Building a proprietary, in-house solution was briefly considered but ultimately ruled out because of the cost-effectiveness considerations and high-performance expectations.
  • Leveraging their prior experience with the platform, the OCTO team initially considered Algolia integration. However, they ultimately favored the open-source transparency offered by Meilisearch, which provided them with greater control over technology and customization settings.
  • Although the team at OCTO considered Elasticsearch too complex for the given client's use case, they decided to use it for logging and configuring data. Ultimately, despite having previous Elasticsearch expertise, the product's complexity prevented the team from benefitting from the Elasticsearch’s offering fully.

Ultimately, the following factors played the most in the decision-making:

Preference for an open-source

For transparency and to align with the specific needs of the OCTO's client vertical, there was a requirement for the tech stack to be primarily open-source and publicly accessible.

The stress tests were conducted with Meilisearch, and the performance provided better search results compared to the custom search solution that was initially in place.

Seamless CMS integration

OCTO’s client utilized Strapi, a headless CMS solution, for data management and discovered that Meilisearch supports seamless integration via the CMS. Adding data and updating the front-end were straightforward, with the Strapi connection functioning smoothly.

Consolidation of multiple data sources

This challenge highlighted the need for precise control and robust performance.  To demonstrate Meilisearch's capabilities, the OCTO team conducted a comprehensive proof of concept, focusing on aggregating various job offers from diverse sources and formats.

OCTO conducted a series of stress tests to evaluate the search page functionality under extreme conditions, including handling high data volumes and maintaining search functionality during indexing. While measuring response speed, they also tested the system’s stability under heavy data ingestion to assess whether the search capabilities would withstand extreme condition.

Implementation

The platform, developed using Next.js and hosted on Github (though not publicly linked at OCTO’s team request for client anonymity), showcases OCTO’s client's self-managed instance. 

The search engine was straightforward to implement, even without specific Meilisearch expertise, and was integrated with Strapi through a plugin. In the front-end, OCTO developed custom Strapi components to allow their client to easily manage UI edits via the CMS.

“At the beginning, we had to create custom components, extending from open-source, to meet our client’s specific requirements. Since then, we have consistently reused these front-end components. The early stages of the Strapi to Meilisearch plugin encountered some bugs, but thanks to the responsive collaboration with the Meilisearch team, these issues were resolved swiftly.” - Simon Belbeoch, Tech Lead/Manager at Octo Technology.

Further comprehensive stress tests were included in the implementation process to ensure robust system performance. These tests involved data insertion, simultaneous searches, and data insertion while searching.

Results

The outcome of implementing Meilisearch was positive. The comprehensive proof of concept and stress tests conducted before going live showed that the search performed well and the page did not break. OCTO’s customer now fully and independently manages the instance, enhancing the user experience with more relevant search results that reduce user frustration. Although specific metrics were not set beforehand, the implementation successfully met the project's goals, with OCTO’s client observing that Meilisearch's search performance exceeded that of their previous custom search solution.

Vision

The experience gained through the completed project with Meilisearch allows OCTO to integrate Meilisearch into its discussions with clients at an earlier stage. It positioned the OCTO team to more effectively meet customer requirements, leading them to consider adopting Meilisearch for internal usage as well as for its new clients. Additionally, the client has expressed strong interest in Meilisearch, prompting considerations for its application in other products.


Want to stay in the loop with everything Meilisearch? Subscribe to our newsletter. Help us shape Meilisearch's future by checking out our roadmap and participating in our product discussions.

For anything else, join our developers community on Discord.