Autocomplete & InstantSearch best practice?

Hi there,

We’re still a little while away from rolling out our web app which has used your React InstantSearch setup but I’ve had my head turned by the new Autocomplete library.

Obviously Autocomplete hasn’t quite been finished yet, but sounds like it will be soon. I’d imagine there’d be a stable release by the time we’re ready to roll out anyway. So, I’m wondering about replacing what we currently have with this new library. Before I did I just wanted to confirm that it’s appropriate to replace React InstantSearch with Autocomplete, or are they intended to work alongside each other?

Current setup uses React InstantSearch to handle our filter/results page but it’s also used with react-autosuggest to handle our generic search feature.

Any clarity on that is greatly welcome.

Thanks!

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Hi Mark, and thanks for your interest in Autocomplete!

You’re right, the v1 stable of Autocomplete is right around the corner. You can already play with the alpha, which should be close to the final API, but we’ll communicate on this forum and online once the stable is out.

Autocomplete isn’t a replacement for React InstantSearch, we’re going to keep improving both libraries, which are designed to work standalone and together. However, there are scenarios where you’ll want to use one without the other, as well as use cases where they could be used interchangeably. For example, in the Algolia documentation, we exclusively use Autocomplete for the search experience.

Autocomplete is designed to be generic (you can use any source from anywhere) but obviously we’ve optimized it to perfectly fit with Algolia (with the right helpers, TypeScript types, and more). This is a perfect replacement for React Autosuggest. The scenario you’re describing, a search feature managed by an autocomplete solution + a search page handled by React InstantSearch, is an ideal use case for using both Autocomplete and React InstantSearch together.

Let me know if there’s anything else I can clarify :slightly_smiling_face:

Ahh thank you so much for getting back to me Sarah!

Okay, that makes perfect sense. Out with React Autosuggest, in with Autocomplete and then a bit of a rejig on the filters page. Thanks for clarifying!

All the best,

Mark

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Aaaand Autocomplete v1 is live! You can find the announcement post here.