At the moment, we're using sql server full text search, but it's too inflexible.
The main thing we do is look up names of people from a database based on a search query. The searches need to be fast, and they need to be fuzzy. SQL Full Text Search doesn't really support fuzzy matching especially when combined with the thesaurus option. Therefore I need a better solution.
My research suggests that lucene and solr are widely used enterprise solutions, but my searching suggests these are more designed for indexing things like documents and webpages, or what it refers to as 'unstructured data'.
Our data is very well structured, and therefore I'm unsure if it's suitable for this type of work or if I should be investigating another product. According to the book I have Solr 1.4 Enterprise Search Server it supports all of the above except for prefix matching out of the box, however it states there are performance issues with substring searches.
Do you think that solr/lucene is a good technology to investigate for solving my problem? If not, do you have an alternative?
Any advice is welcome. I am a .NET developer, hence solrnet rather than solr.