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Search Architecture

Below you can explore the Search Architecture. Our aim with this architecture is to support a wide variety of search engines, while providing a simple developer experience for plugin developers, and a good out-of-the-box experience for Backstage end-users.

Search Architecture

At a base-level, we want to support the following:

  • We aim to enable the capability to search across the entire Backstage ecosystem including, but not limited to, entities in the software catalog. Searchable content won't be required to relate directly to the software catalog, but by convention, we may encourage loose relationships using well-known field names or attributes.
  • We aim to enable the capability to deploy Backstage using any search engine, by providing an integration and translation layer between the core search plugin and search engine specific logic that can be extended for different search engines. We may also introduce the ability to replace the backend API endpoint with a custom endpoint for simpler customization.

More advanced use-cases we hope to support with this architecture include:

  • It should be possible for any plugin to expose new content to search. (e.g. entity metadata, documentation from TechDocs)
  • It should be possible for any plugin to append relevant metadata to existing content in search. (e.g. location (path) for TechDocs page)
  • It should be possible to refine search queries (e.g. ranking, scoring, etc.)
  • It should be possible to customize the search UI
  • It should be possible to add search functionality to any Backstage plugin or deployment

Architecture non-goals:

  • At this time, we do not intend to directly support event-driven or incremental index management. Instead, we'll be focused on scheduled, bulk index management.

Tech Stack

Frontend Plugin@backstage/plugin-search
Frontend Plugin Library@backstage/plugin-search-react
Isomorphic Plugin Library@backstage/plugin-search-common
Backend Plugin@backstage/plugin-search-backend
Backend Plugin Library@backstage/plugin-search-backend-node
Backend Plugin Module@backstage/plugin-search-backend-module-elasticsearch
Backend Plugin Module@backstage/plugin-search-backend-module-pg