Typesense: The Open Source Alternative to Algolia+Pinecone

  • Amjith KAmjith K
  • Application Development
  • 4 months ago
Typesense The Open Source Alternative to Algolia+Pinecone

Building an app can get expensive, especially when it must have multiple features like filtering options, search engines, geo-tracking, etc. For such needs, Algolia and Pinecone are excellent options. But they are paid and have steep costs.

So, if you've been searching for an open-source alternative to platforms like Algolia or Pinecone, you're likely aware of the multiple options available. However, one standout option that catches the eye early on is Typesense. 

Recently, it achieved a significant milestone, surpassing 10 million docker pulls. This accomplishment speaks volumes about its growing popularity and widespread adoption within the developer community. Not just that, it also makes it an excellent viable option for search and indexing projects. 

So, in this article, we will discuss how Typesense is one of the best open-source alternatives to Algolia and Pinecone.


Features of Typesense

Typesense is one of the new and upcoming open-source platforms that are alternatives to search engines like Algolia and Pinecone. It is known for its simplicity and speed, designed to empower developers to create fast and efficient search experiences. Here are some of its most notable features:

  1. Typo Tolerance: Easily handles typos in between the codes
  2. Simple and Easy: Easy to set up, integrate, operate, and scale with simplicity.
  3. Fast: Built in C++, it's designed for land and has a lightning-fast response time (<50ms) for instant searches.
  4. Tunable Ranking: Simple to customize search results to perfection.
  5. Sorting: It sorts results on a real-time dynamic basis on a specific field during query time. So, it is handy for features like "Sort by Price (asc)".
  6. Faceting & Filtering: It groups similar results to display more variety, making the drilling down and refining search results more accessible.
  7. Federated Search: Searches across multiple collections (indices) in a single HTTP request.
  8. Geo Search: Searches and sorts results around a latitude/longitude or within a bounding box.
  9. Vector Search: Indexes embeddings from your machine learning models for a nearest-neighbor search. These embeddings make it worthwhile for similarity searches, semantic searches, visual searches, recommendations, etc.
  10. Semantic / Hybrid Search: Generates embeddings from within Typesense using built-in models like S-BERT, E-5, etc., as well as external ones like OpenAI and PaLM API. This generation allows for an out-of-the-box semantic search + keyword search experience using JSON data.
  11. Scoped API Keys: Generates API keys that only allow access to specific records, suitable for multi-tenant applications.
  12. Synonyms: Defines words as equivalents, so searching for one-word returns results for defined synonyms.
  13. Curation & Merchandizing: Boosts specific records to a fixed position in search results to feature them.
  14. Raft-based Clustering: Sets up a distributed cluster that is highly available.
  15. No Runtime Dependencies: Typesense is a binary that can be run locally or in production with a single command.


Advantages of Choosing Typesense

Typesense is fast, scalable, and open-source. With built-in features like typo tolerance and faceted search, it makes a formidable contender. 

So, what are the advantages of choosing Typesense over Algolia or Pinecone?

Fast and Scalable

Typesense is designed for speed, focusing on low-latency responses, even when dealing with extensive datasets. This design makes it suitable for applications that require quick and responsive search functionality.

Besides that, its software architecture makes horizontal scaling easier. You can add more nodes to the cluster as your data and traffic grow, ensuring continued performance as your application scales.

Typo Tolerance

It uses a fuzzy search algorithm that can understand and correct typographical errors. That is how it can give accurate and relevant search results even when there are mistakes in the query.

This algorithm is essential for improving the user experience and ensuring that users find what they are looking for, even if they make common typing errors.

Simple to Use

The API design of Typesense is straightforward and developer-friendly. This simplicity can reduce the learning curve for developers, making it easier to integrate and work with Typesense within their applications.

Faceted Search

Faceted search is a powerful feature that lets the users filter their search results based on specific attributes or facets (e.g., filtering products by category, price range, or brand).

Typesense supports efficient faceted search, allowing developers to implement rich user filtering options.

Open Source

As an open-source project, its source code is available for inspection, modification, and redistribution. This transparency builds trust. That’s why it can have a strong community of developers who can help each other. This project can also help organizations to personalize the search engine to their specific needs.

Open source also mitigates the risk of vendor lock-in, giving more control over the technology stack.

Self-hosted Option

Organizations can deploy and manage Typesense on their infrastructure by giving it control over the search environment and data security.

Since it allows self-hosting, it can benefit businesses with specific compliance requirements or those seeking more control over system resources.


Typesense is schemaless. It means that developers can index and search data without a predefined schema. This option is good because it allows them to handle diverse and evolving data structures.

This flexibility is precious when dealing with dynamic or rapidly changing data.


A RESTful API follows industry-standard conventions, making it accessible and easy to integrate with various programming languages and frameworks. 

Typesense has a RESTful structure. So, it makes it well-documented, making it easier for developers to understand and use and improves interoperability with a wide range of applications.



It can get confusing when setting up a search engine for your app using APIs. Algolia and Pinecone are your known options, but they can get pricey. That's where Typesense comes in - it's a budget-friendly alternative that doesn't compromise on power. If you're looking for an affordable yet effective solution for your app's search, Typesense is the way to go.

Explore the benefits of open-source tools, like Typesense, for your mobile app development with Cubet. We are here to help you integrate and optimize your search features that match your needs and budget. Contact us for a consultation call where we can draw out a personalized solution for your plans.


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