Indexing BLOB fields in Solr

Just a quick blogpost today about Solr. If I help someone with this post, good. If I help myself to remember this, good.

In a project I'm currently working on I'm stuck with a legacy database where I can't change the fields for fear of breaking a legacy application that is using the same data. One of the fields in the database that I need to index with Solr is a MySQL BLOB field. I initially just indexed it as is, but that resulted in odd codes instead of the actual text:

[email protected]

Since I use the DataImportHandler instead of writing my own indexing scripts, I can't do the conversion myself, so I needed a simple way to convert the BLOB to a usable text somewhere in the indexing process. Of course, Google and Stack Overflow come to the rescue. Thanks to this answer to a question about this topic, I know that it is actually quite easy.

select CONVERT(Text USING utf8) as description FROM Book where EAN='${}'

That's it! Now, instead of the odd object codes as above, I actually index the text-version of the BLOB field.