What’s new after Summer 2021!

This has been an incredible summer. The really big news is that we hired Chris Short as a full time, full-stack engineer starting August.

Welcome Chris!

He’s been working solely on the Connect 211 Open Resource Search Engine, and boy has he made progress.

You can check out the release notes here, but following are some of the highlights.

Open Source.

It’s a dream for us: to create and maintain an open source code base that benefits the whole community. To that end, we’ve released the front-end and back-end of our search engine as a standalone app that can be quickly deployed. Let’s see where this goes together!

Separation of concerns.

Speaking of front-end vs back-end, we broke away from using NextJS built in APIs and rolled our own backend using Koa.js. This improves API performance (and therefore page load times), plus it makes deployments and updates much easier.

A better search engine.

Back in April we mentioned that we would be replacing Algolia with Elastic Search, and we did just that. It’s so incredibly customizable, and has enabled us to implement, as far as we know, the most accurate and performant service area filtering in the industry. This is probably my favorite thing. Maybe I should write an article just about that.

All the other stuff.

Additionally, we squashed a bunch of bugs, addressed numerous maintenance issues and updates (awesome code FTW!), and rolled out a couple smaller new features.

What’s next?

I’m glad you asked. We are so close to releasing multiple lists of favorites. It’s a whole new interface for easily saving and sharing resources you use every day. More on that next time.

We are also doing preliminary planning for some gigantic new features, including advanced filters, and … wait for it … multilingual support of the entire database.

Oh yes, we definitely went there. More on that later too.


Things are moving here at Connect 211. We will keep solving challenges that face 211 organization and their partners, always with an eye towards communal knowledge and shared solutions.

Thanks for checking in. Bye for now!