Property Mappings or Why Microsoft Enterprise Search Is a Consultants’ Treasure Chest

May 31, 2010

First, navigate to “Creating Enterprise Search Metadata Property Mappings with PowerShell.” Notice that you may have difficulty reading the story because the Microsoft ad’s close button auto positions itself so you can’t get rid of the ad. Pretty annoying on some netbooks, including my Toshiba NB305.

Second, the author of the article is annoyed, but he apparently finds his solution spot on as something germane to open source search. Frankly I don’t get the link between manual scripting to perform a common function and open source search. Well, that’s what comes from getting old and becoming less tolerant of stuff that simply does not work unless there is a generous amount of time to fix a commercial product.

What’s broken? Here’s the problem:

One of the things that drove me absolutely nuts about Enterprise Search in MOSS 2007 was that there was no built-in way to export your managed property mappings and install them on a new server.  A third party utility on CodePlex helped, but it was still less than ideal.  With SharePoint 2010, well you still really can’t export your property mappings to a file, but you do get a lot of flexibility using PowerShell.

And the fix?

You use the baker’s dozen lines of code in the write up, substitute your own variable names, and presto, you can get access to that hard won metadata. Here’s the author’s key point:

It seems like a lot but it really isn’t.  I create two managed properties (TestProperty1 and TestProperty2).  In the case of TestProperty2, I actually map two crawled properties to it.

In my opinion, this type of manual solution is great for those with time to burn and money to pay advisors. Flip the problem. Why aren’t basic functions included in Microsoft’s enterprise search solutions? Oh, and what about that short cut for reindexing? Bet that works like a champ for some users. Little wonder that third party search solutions for SharePoint are thriving. And the open source angle? Beats me.

Stephen E Arnold, May 31, 2010

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Cyber Command Revealed

May 31, 2010

Short honk: The goose has no information about this “cyber command.” The goose did read “CYBERCOM – US Military’s Online Watchdog Quiet Startup.” You may want to read the article too. For me the most interesting comment in that write up was:

The current status of CYBERCOM is as a preliminary upgrade/streamline of existing Strategic Command capacities into one command. CYBERCOM is part of the Department of Defense, and its general structure looks like an all round initiative. The need for a national approach to internet security and cyber warfare has been flagged by DoD and the administration for some time. It’s long been argued that cyber warfare is the new horizon of war. Many recent reports about massive attacks on Federal agencies and the emerging cyber warfare scenarios have also forced development of new security measures by the National Security Agency.

Worth a look.

Stephen E Arnold, May 31, 2010

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Google and Finance

May 31, 2010

Short honk: Google’s move into financial trading is official. “Google’s Latest Launch: Its Own Trading Floor” makes clear that it will manage its own money. According to the write up in Bloomberg Businessweek:

Google’s trading room opened in January. The plan is to keep the war chest growing safely and ready to be deployed should the right mergers-and-acquisitions opportunities arise. The investment team has grown to more than 30 people, up from six three years ago. Many of the new arrivals are former Wall Streeters who left lucrative careers at Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and other banks. The man in charge is Brent Callinicos, Google’s 44-year-old treasurer, who joined from Microsoft in 2007, back when Google had $11 billion in cash. “This isn’t fast money, this is patient money,” he says.

If you read my early Google monograph, you knew that Google had aspirations to Google-ize certain inefficient services. Among those was finance. Keep in mind that Google has plumbing and that infrastructure is what the company does quite well. When will that Google credit card be available? Maybe never but if Google seeps and spreads from this “latest launch”, I want one.

Stephen E Arnold, May 29, 2010

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WalMarting: Apple and Google

May 31, 2010

ChannelWeb’s “Report: Next Apple TV Will Have No Screen, Cost $99” might be off base. Doesn’t matter. Say Apple to anyone and you hear the words “cool” and maybe “expensive”. A $99 Apple TV is a shocker because buying a case and a dongle for an Apple iPad costs that much. My thought is that Apple is happy to let Google give away products and services. But $99 is an interesting price point. Google seems to be the WalMart of online. Apple with a higher price and what may be perceived as upscale products is close enough. In my opinion, the Internet TV thing is what those who have trouble reading a book and engaging in a substantive conversation will find compelling. In the rush to the mass market, both Apple and Google seem to be practicing what I have dubbed “WalMarting”. At some point the costs become evident. For WalMart, the empty store fronts in Farmington, Illinois, are one example. There is the pressure on suppliers to get into the WalMart channel. Then there is the labor unrest. But what I think about when I hear the coinage “WalMarting” is the site People of WalMart. I wonder if that is the future of online information, products, services, and the exciting world of low cost Internet TV. If Apple embeds Bing as the default search engine, does this add substance and style to the search experience? I liked online when it was esoteric and less accessible.

Stephen E Arnold, May 31, 2010

Freebie or at least at a deep discount

SurfRay: Catching the Crest of the SharePoint Wave

May 31, 2010

Editor’s Note: I participated in an email exchange with SurfRay’s management and technical team. I have been tracking the company’s technology for many years. First, I provided some competitive background to the team largely responsible for the Mondosoft product five or six years ago. Then, the Speed of Mind database acceleration and search technology became part of the SurfRay company. I have been tracking vendors who have addressed some of the needs that some Microsoft SharePoint customers discovered. My interests concern content processing, metatagging, and search and retrieval. Today’s SurfRay includes the Ontolica technology as well as the Web site search, analytics, and structured data technologies from Mondosoft and Speed of Mind. I wanted to make certain I was up to speed on what the Copenhagen-based company was doing. The following summary highlights the information I gleaned in my in-depth conversation with SurfRay executives.

SurfRay A/S, based in Copenhagen, has captured significant buzz for its Ontolica product. Microsoft offers many functions, but when it comes to making information easy to access, “basic” SharePoint falls short. Ontolica delivers search and content processing as a snap in. One day, SharePoint content is tough to find. The next day, after Ontolica has been installed, SharePoint content becomes available to users. In fact, installing Ontolica 2010 involved little more than clicking Next, Next, Next… Quite a different approach from the Lego block, assemble-it-yourself approach taken by other vendors.

image

Highlight shows one click filters for the user’s query.

Torben Ellert, my SurfRay contact point, told me:

Ontolica delivers a powerful solution that clicks into standard SharePoint without any difficulty and typically installing in minutes. Few companies are so focused on being pure Microsoft that they are willing to live with problems when a simple and effective solution exists.

Simple. And SurfRay is growing at a double digit pace.

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Royal at Autonomy

May 30, 2010

His Royal Highness the Duke of York Visits Autonomy Headquarters” may not do much for the three North Americans reading this blog. A visit from a royal is a very big deal in Cambridge, England. For me the key passage in the write up was:

Autonomy Corporation plc, a global leader in infrastructure software for the enterprise, today announced that His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York will be visiting its European headquarters in the Cambridge Business Park. During his visit today His Royal Highness will learn about Autonomy’s unparalleled journey from the engineering research labs of Cambridge University a little over a decade ago to become the largest software company in the UK, a FTSE 100 company and the winner of two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the Innovation and International Trade categories. In addition to introductions from Autonomy’s senior management executive team, His Royal Highness the Duke of York will meet Autonomy employees from a range of departments including Autonomy’s award-wining Research & Development team which leads the world in meaning-based software technology solutions.

So what about that next tender offer for search and its requirement for a reference? The Duke of York is an name for the procurement team to consider calling for an Autonomy reference.

Stephen E Arnold, May 30, 2010

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Endeca and Alfresco

May 30, 2010

Short honk: I wanted to document an item I saw in “Alfresco’s 3.3 ECM Upgrade Delivers CMIS Support, Integration with Lotus Notes, Outlook, Google Docs, Drupal”. Here’s the passage I noted:

Alfresco customers include Boise Cascade, Merck, Air Force, Endeca, Cisco and H&R Block.

Alfresco is a company I associated with open source software. Endeca is a commercial software company. Perhaps Endeca can process content in Alfresco repositories. I can see Alfresco as an Endeca partner, what I thought was called “Eden”. Just wanted to snag this item for future open source reference. There is a big difference between a partner and a customer, or I think there is.

Stephen E Arnold, May 30, 2010

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WebM Fancy Dancing

May 30, 2010

Short honk: If you are tracking Google’s video encoder WebM, you will want to read “Google Asks for Delay in WebM License Consideration.” One tip. Perch your open source legal eagle on your shoulder to get some color for the Google request. You will want to tuck the WebM FAQ link in your bookmarks folder. Interesting stuff. Fire, Ready, Aim?

Stephen E Arnold, May 30, 2010

Freebie almost like WebM maybe?

Google Wi-Fi Data Maybe Both Harm and Foul

May 29, 2010

Google Keeping WiFi Data from German, Hong Kong Governments” reminded me of British Petroleum’s oil leak. The darned thing has made a big mess and BP may be tarred and feathered. Google is no BP, but it has managed to create a data mess that sprawls from Germany to Hong Kong and maybe other places as well. Google’s StreetView data collection is the pumping oil line. Deadlines for delivering data to various countries’ authorities came and went. Like the fisherman in the Gulf, government officials are concerned and annoyed. According to the write up:

Google is stuck between a rock and a hard place with this one, and the furor over the data keeps growing. Google doesn’t just have Germany and Hong Kong on its back either—certain members of Congress want to know what the FTC is doing to look into the situation, and a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Google, too. Simply deleting the data certainly seems like the most painless way out for all involved—Google has already done exactly this for data collected in Denmark, Ireland, and Austria—but it’s clear that several countries want to know exactly what information Google collected on its citizens before wholesale deletions can take place.

To add to Google’s interesting problem, a district judge in Oregon, according to the write up, “has ordered Google to turn over copies of the data it collected within 10 days.” I hope that the information in the article is not spot on. Assume the information is accurate.

What happens if multiple countries determine that Google’s data collection caused harm and was a legal foul? Companies cannot blow off countries. Countries make laws, have police, and have powers that may be non digital, but countries can make life downright miserable for those who ignore countries’ legal system. Getting arrested puts a crimp in one’s Internet surfing based on what I have seen in certain incarceration facilities. Maybe Google is different? Well, maybe not? Controlled chaos may not be the winning management strategy for this digital oil spill.

Stephen E Arnold, May 29, 2010

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Top 1,000 Sites: Interesting and Odd

May 29, 2010

You can get Google’s version of the Top 1,000 Web sites via the Double Click Ad Planner. There are some anomalies. I could not spot Google.com nor YouTube.com. Microsoft’s sites were not rolled up but presented as individual sites; for example, Live.com at #3, MSN.com at #5, Microsoft.com at #6, and Bing.com at #14. Same handling of Adobe. The approach makes sense. A notable red herring link was Com.com which points to Cnet.com. A surprise that Ca.gov was on the list at 565 and the UK’s Direct.gov.uk was # 803. I did not spot any of the much-loved US government Web sites. The National Institutes of Health was #176. The IRS was #288 ahead of Hulu.com at #292. NASA was #604. The Department of Education was #762. The USGS turned up at # 978. The other US government entities were presumably outside the Top 1,000. Google’s star crossed social networking service Orkut was #45 with 45 million visitors. Facebook, according to the Google report, has 540 million visitors. To get an idea of the variance between the Google data and Nielsendata, compare some high profile companies. I looked at Nielsen’s April traffic data for Apple. Nielsen reported 61,158 million uniques. Google reported 72 million. Similar differences pepper traffic league tables. Which is less incorrect? I average which is close enough for horse shoes in my opinion.

The “truth” appears in log files. The problem is that comprehensive log file analysis is a challenge in many organizations. Net net: Some Web site operators may not know the hard count.

Stephen E Arnold

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