Google unveils Gen 5 of Enterprise Search Appliance

Google is also making available via free download on its Google Labs site three other technologies that an enterprise might find useful.

Google, the newly-christened US$600-per-share company, unveiled this week the fifth generation of its Google Enterprise Search Appliance.

A combination of hardware preloaded with software, the latest version addresses a major enterprise pain point: Searching through multiple content repositories or ECM (Enterprise Content Management) systems.

The Google capability, called Universal Search, connects to four different content repositories -- Documentum, FileNet, Livelink, and SharePoint -- and can index content from all four.

Google is also unveiling an open framework so that partners like ECM companies Stellent and Hummingbird that are not part of the current announcement can build connectors to the Universal Search system, according to Nitin Mangtani, lead product manager for enterprise search at Google .

While every ECM company offers its own search capabilities, the Google appliance can index and search all four repositories simultaneously with a single keyword search.

In addition to searching ECMS, Universal Search will also connect to content stored in Google Apps and hosted by Google.

"The definition of where information is is changing. It is not only inside the firewall but in the cloud," said Mangtani.

Two search appliances will be available. Google Mini for SMBs will be priced at US$1,995 for searching up to 50,000 documents, and Google Search Appliance, priced at US$30,000, is for searching 500,000 documents.

Google is also making available via free download on its Google Labs site three other technologies that an enterprise might find useful.

Parametric search will allow users to do rich metadata searches. According to Mangtani, if a user is looking for a design document authored by a particular person between specific dates and containing a specific type of content, the parametric search will find it.

Search-as-you-type will work in a similar way to type ahead technology, flashing suggested search results as the user types in a query.

Key Match takes a page from wiki technology and helps users collaborate and share best sites and content.

Google Enterprise Search and Mini will be generally available this week.

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Ephraim Schwartz

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