Google Search Appliance

InfoWorld writes about Google’s plans for the enterprise networks:

“We want to index and allow users to search on the broadest set of enterprise documents, while retaining the simplicity of use that people have come to expect from Google,” said Dave Girouard, Google’s enterprise general manager.

That means turning the Search Appliance from a tool that today is primarily used to index and search intranets and external company Web sites to a tool with a much broader reach into enterprise data sources, he said.

While Girouard declined to specify the data sources the Search Appliance might support, he said the product at some point could be extended to tap enterprise databases, desktop PCs, content management systems and CRM (customer relationship management) applications.

Extending the Search Appliance in this manner “makes more than perfect sense” because most enterprise data resides in a variety of formats that aren’t Web-accessible, said Whit Andrews, a Gartner Inc. analyst. “How much (corporate data) gets turned into an HTML file? Relatively little,” Andrews said. “If Google wants to continue to grow that (Search Appliance) business opportunity, then it absolutely must be in the business of dealing with a large variety of enterprise document formats and data repositories.”

As such, Google is positioning itself to compete with vendors such as Verity Inc., Autonomy Corp. PLC and Fast Search & Transfer ASA, Andrews said. One thing that sets Google apart is the ease of use and interface simplicity of its online services, and this is something that the company should always strive to replicate in the enterprise search space as it pushes forward, he said. “Ease of use is something Google has really excelled at,” he said. “That’s its hallmark.”

The Search Appliance can crawl and index documents in more than 250 file formats, as long as the documents are accessible via HTTP or HTTPS.

Search could be a good extension to our Emergic MailServ.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.