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Solr Data Import Handler & XML – nested entities

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Solr Data Import Handler & XML – nested entities

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Data Import Handler is a very nice and powerful tool. The following entry is a description of the problem (and solutions) which I met recently.

Description of the problem

I had to index some list of products, it doesn’t matter what kind of products. However, the products can be combined into groups. In addition, every successive element in the group may have some data omitted – actually the data that were present in the previous documents that appeared in the group. Here is the example structure (irrelevant information was omitted for readability):

    <name>Product 1</name>
    <name>Product 2</name>
      <name>Product 3 and 4</name>


The solution is as always a definition of the “entity” element which looked as follows:

<entity processor="XPathEntityProcessor"
    forEach="/products/product | /products/group/product">
  <field column="id" xpath="//id" />
  <field column="name" xpath="//name" commonField="true" />


With this “forEach” design the processing will take place both for products that do not belong to the group, as well as those in groups. An important attribute if the “commonField” one. It informs DIH that if the record doesn’t have a field defined DIH should fetch the field from the previous record.

The above solution has some limitations, such as the first item in the group should have defined the field “name” and it is important to order the products, but in my case, those limitations corresponded exactly with the specifications of the provided import file.


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