Wikimedia Search Platform


The Search Platform team (part of Wikimedia Technology) is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the various Search features and APIs for MediaWiki. This includes the CirrusSearch extension which relies on Elasticsearch, the search backend used at the Wikimedia Foundation to support Wikimedia projects and Wikidata Query Service, the SPARQL endpoint used to query Wikidata.

Current work by this team is tracked on the Discovery-Search workboard in Phabricator (backlog board).


Our mission is to help people easily discover knowledge on Wikipedia and its sister projects by providing tools and infrastructure for casual readers and expert users with precise needs, while maintaining a strong emphasis on privacy.


  • We operate and maintain a disparate collection of production services related to content discovery, enabling the wiki community to find information that is not available through simply following links. We also provide a platform on which other people can create tools to support editing and other workflows.
  • We provide an open-source search engine, backed by an inverted index for non-structured on-wiki data. We work to develop more sophisticated searching with machine learning and natural language processing.
  • We provide a SPARQL-based query service for Wikidata, encouraging users to capitalize on this vast store of computer-readable structured data for use on-wiki and in knowledge discovery.
  • We endeavor to support underserved wiki communities, and we rely on those communities to help us understand their needs and evaluate potential solutions, especially with respect to underserved languages.
  • We prioritize privacy for logged-in users and anonymity for logged-out users over almost everything else, even when it slows down or complicates development or hinders our ability to collect or use data.


The Search Platform team's goals are part of the entire Technology Department's goals. You can see links to the current quarterly goals. (Note that Q1 is July–September for random historical reasons.)

Other Projects[edit]

Wikidata Query Service (WDQS)[edit]

The Wikidata query service allows for searching structured data on Wikidata. It also provides an API through which tools can access Wikidata. Our current work is tracked on the Discovery-Search workboard (see also our WDQS backlog board) and weekly deployments of WDQS are documented on wikitech:Deployments. w:SPARQL


Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) provide developers ways to interact with the MediaWiki software.

API:Search and discovery lists the search APIs available and in development.

The Team[edit]

See the team page on Wikitech.


Moved to wikitech:Search Platform/Contact


The Search Platform team uses a Scrumban process, which is a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban. It is described here: Search Platform Process.

Conferences, gatherings, and other events[edit]

Upcoming events[edit]

  • none scheduled due to COVID-19 global pandemic

Past events[edit]

Docs and Other Links[edit]

Moved to wikitech:Search Platform/Documentation


Useful reference for who can deploy code. It's nice to know whom to bug if you need something:

Person MediaWiki








Portals Deployer
dcausse Yes Yes
ebernhardsen Yes Yes
jan_drewniak Yes
gehel Yes Yes Yes


The Search Platform team supports the following code:

Repository Phabricator/Diffusion GitHub mirror
CirrusSearch extension mediawiki-extensions-CirrusSearch
Elastica extension mediawiki-extensions-Elastica
GeoData extension mediawiki-extensions-GeoData
Wikidata Query Service wikidata-query-rdf
Wikidata Query Service GUI wikidata-query-gui
WDQS deployment wikidata-query-deploy
WDQS GUI deployment wikidata-query-gui-deploy
PHP textcat wikimedia-textcat
Relevance Forge wikimedia-discovery-relevanceForge
Discernatron wikimedia-discovery-discernatron
Discovery Analytics wikimedia-discovery-analytics
Lucene Explain Parser wikimedia-lucene-explain-parser