Wikimedia Search Platform

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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.

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

The public Search Analytics Dashboard monitors and analyze the impact of our efforts, as well as the External Search Traffic dashboard that very broadly looks at where our requests are coming from. Please note that these boards are no longer being updated as of September 2019 and are only for historical purposes.

The Search Platform team was formerly part of the Discovery Department in Audiences; but, as part of the re-organization (tune-up) of June 2017, the Search Platform team is now part of Technology.

Pages of historical note:


The Search Platform team's goals for FY 2019/20 are part of the entire Technology Department's goals here.

Other projects[edit]

Wikidata Query Service (WDQS)[edit]

Searching structured data on Wikidata is an integral part of Discovery in building the Wikidata query service. It provides a API through which tools can access Wikidata. Learn more about the Wikidata query service. Our current work is tracked on this Phabricator workboard and weekly deployments of WDQS are documented on wikitech:Deployments; while a public WDQS Analytics Dashboard is used to monitor and analyze the impact of our efforts.


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. View our public API Analytics Dashboard to monitor and analyze the impact of our efforts.

The team[edit]

This list was last updated on November 21st, 2019.


Weekly status updates[edit]

See Discovery weekly status updates for the archive of past team updates. Note: these updates are now part of the Scrum of Scrums weekly updates, as of September 26, 2019.

Mailing lists[edit]

Search Platform - A public mailing list about the Wikimedia Search Platform team and projects (formerly Discovery Department). Examples of topics would include:

  • Announcements, including major upcoming initiatives, completed major releases, quarterly or annual plans, requests for feedback or input
  • Technical discussions and brainstorming regarding our work:
    • Search, Elastic, Cirrus, the Relevance Forge, and other relevant subjects
    • Our dashboards or related analysis
  • Other team news, such as changes to team structure, significant changes to processes, changes in how we use phabricator or other tools like gerrit

IRC channels[edit]

#wikimedia-discovery connect

Meetup groups[edit]


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]

  • Late January / early February 2020, All-Hands, San Francisco
  • May 2020, Hackathon, Tirana, Albania

Past events[edit]

Data Analysis Archive[edit]

The data access and analysis guidelines used by the Search Platform team around data sources, or by other teams around Search Platform data sources, are documented on Meta. Please note that these boards are no longer being updated as of September 2019 and are only for historical purposes.


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
ebernhardsen Yes Yes
jan_drewniak Yes
gehel Yes Yes
^d Yes Yes


Discovery team supports the following code:

Repository Phabricator/Diffusion Github mirror Active?
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