IBM OmniFind 9.1: Trouble for Some Search Partners?

August 2, 2010

IBM has embraced open source. Now before you wade through the links for the new IBM OmniFind 9.1 search system, let me own up to a previous error. I did not believe that IBM would do much to make open source search a key part of the firm’s software strategy. I was wrong. IBM did or people like Mike McCandless did. Second, the decision to use Lucene and wrap IBM’s product strategy and pricing around it pretty much means that some of IBM’s favored enterprise search vendors are going to find themselves sitting home when IBM makes certain sales calls. Third, the IBM pricing strategy does not mean that enterprise search IBM-style is free. The idea is that IBM will be able to chase after Microsoft without the legacy of the $1.3 billion investment in Fast Search & Transfer, the legal and police muddle, and the mind boggling task of converting Fast into the broader vista of SharePoint. (Do you think my reference to “vista” evokes the Windows 7 predecessor? Silly you.)

Here’s what we have based on my poking around.

You get to license connectors. These puppies will be saddled with IBM pricing elements. This means that it will be tough for a customer to compare what he/she paid with what another customer paid. Bad for competitors too, but that’s a secondary issue compared to generating revenue. Run a query for part number BFG04CML. The adapters work with the UIMA standard.

You get to pay for the multi language option. Same pricing deal as connectors.

There is an email search component. which is available as “IBM OmniFind Personal E-Mail Search or IOPES. This works with Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook. IBM sales engineers may be able to bundle up the bits and pieces needed to stop outfits like the not well known Isys Search Software outfit from Australia from selling search to a Lotus Notes’ customer.

The security model reminds me of Oracle’s SES11g approach. You get a system and then get to buy components. Same pricing model again.

You can license a classification model. Same pricing mechanism.

If you already have an OmniFind search installation, you have to reindex after working through the update procedure. That sequence is too complex for a blog post, and if anyone wants a summary, I charge for it. The darned method was not particularly easy to locate on the IBM Web site. Sorry, I run a business.

You can still handle collections, but you have to set these up via the administrative interface or the configuration files.

If you have a bunch of IBM servers running OmniFind, you have to update each one in the search system. Have fun.

There is a Web crawler available, and I think our test showed that it called itself UFOcrawler.

For more information about OmniFind 9.1 click this link. Be patient. The new color is green which evokes the cost of the add ons and components. Nevertheless, bad news for some commercial search and content processing vendors accustomed to IBM’s throwing them bones. IBM is now eating those bones in my opinion. The sauce is open source. Tasty too.

Stephen E Arnold, July 30, 2010


2 Responses to “IBM OmniFind 9.1: Trouble for Some Search Partners?”

  1. IBM OmniFind Affordable? : Beyond Search on December 14th, 2010 5:34 am

    […] Search and Findability blog recently published OmniFind Enterprise Edition 9.1 – new capabilities discussed over breakfast, heralding the achievements of the latest version of IBM’s search platform. According to the […]

  2. OmniFind Enterprise Edition 9.1 – new capabilities discussed over breakfast « The Findability blog on June 30th, 2011 7:35 am

    […] licensing model is still quite complicated, something Stephen E Arnold highlighted earlier this year. Since a number of our customers have chosen to take a closer look at OmniFind […]

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