Simplexo: Another Open Source Enterprise Search Platform
September 11, 2008
A satisfied reader alerted me to the Simplexo open source search announcement today. Simplexo offers its search system on the open source plan. If you use the engine, you can pay Simplexo to customize, support, and tune the system. The business model strikes me as quite similar to Lemur Consulting’s approach described here.
According to Mr. Evans’ write up:
The software is capable of searching through unstructured data such as email, word processor documents, images, text files and spreadsheets, as well structured data including databases, payroll, HR systems, and SAP.
Mr. Evans identifies one interesting method used by Simplexo. He observed:
Simplexo Enterprise uses the indexing capabilities of databases and other legacy software and therefore does not need to index this data. It only indexes unstructured data, reducing the amount of resources taken up by search indexes.
The Butler “audit” noted that Simplexo opened for business in September 2008 and is a start up. The company generates revenue by supporting and customizing its open source search system. The product analysis seemed a bit sketchy, which is not surprising. The Butler “auditor” reported that the system can index two terabytes of data in about five hours. I urge you to download and read the Butler “audit”. I don’t want to recycle that firm’s information for a new company whose technology is unfamiliar to me. You can absorb the “audit” yourself and decide if the system is right for you.
My view on open source search engines is that this is becoming a sector with a number of options for the organization interested in this approach. I mentioned Lemur Consulting. I have also written about Tesuji here. You can also take a look at my write up about Lucene here. These open source options are selective, not comprehensive.
I am neutral on open source search solutions. If you have the technical resources, open source can deliver excellent results. If you are not comfortable with open source, then you may be better served by running a try-before-you-buy analysis and then a bake off. Let your data collection guide you.
Stephen Arnold, September 11, 2008