We are planning to host the solution on Microsoft Azure PaaS, and using Azure Search instead of Solr. When we install Sitecore 9 on Azure PaaS, Solr is not required.
Is there any way to configure the developer box using Sitecore 9 without Solr?
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It’s not too difficult as long as you can set up a search service for the purpose of local development.
1. Setup Azure Search Service in the Azure Portal
2. Add a new connection string called “Cloud.Search” – make sure to use the search URL and API key from your search service in the Azure portal when building the connection string e.g.
<add name="cloud.search" connectionString="serviceUrl=https://AzureSearchServiceURL;apiVersion=2015-02-28-preview;apiKey=AzureSearchServiceAPIKEY"/>
3. Change the app search definition in your web config under
<add key="search:define" value="Azure"/>
4. Rebuild your Sitecore Indexes
Hope this helps.
You can use Lucene if you are running CMS-only mode (i.e. no Analytics/xDB). If you are running multi-server, multi-CD set up then best practice recommendation has been to use SOLR/Azure which you have already mentioned.
As far as Sitecore 9 installation documentation is concerned, here is the text.
The Sitecore Experience Platform 9.0 rev. 171002 supports Solr, Lucene, and Azure Search as search providers. If you want to use a search index that works in both Analytics and ContentSearch, we recommend that you use Solr.
Following is the Search Indexing Requirements.
I would suggest to review the installation documentation.