Connector Craziness: The Next Search Battleground

September 29, 2010

A reader sent me a link to a blog post from one of the mid tier consulting firms. The article is “Document Filters as a Search Proxy War.” I really don’t have much to say about the write up. So I will pretty much ignore it. I do this with quite a bit of blog content as I flap past 66.

However, I would like to add some information that I think those involved in search and content processing may want to have at their fingertips. I am reasonably familiar with the number of connectors available from Autonomy and Oracle. However, the connector world is not limited to two vendors, nor is it likely that most of those in search of connectors are aware that the outcome of a legal matter could – and I emphasize could – have a significant impact on the market. You can read more about this matter in my Information Today column and in a series of posts I am doing for a new Web log that will be available in mid-October. The announcement of the new Web log will appear in Beyond Search and I believe there will be a news release if I remember to alert one of my goslings to the task.

First, EntropySoft is a vendor that offers document connectors. You can get information about that firm’s offerings at

Second, there is a major dust up in the document connector world, and it is one that is the subject of my October Information Today column. The issue is an allegation by i2 Ltd., a company based in England. The core of the allegation is that improper actions were used to reverse engineer a document connector by Palantir. Depending on the outcome of this legal matter, there may be some modifications in the connector world. The issue is a connector for file type ANB. I have done work for i2.

Third, there are some open source connector initiatives underway. If you have not explored this side of the connector world you can begin with a Google search, a Black Duck search, or navigate to The open source software movement, particularly in light of the Oracle litigation with Google, may have an impact on open source connectors.

There are also connector vendors in Hungary and India, but I won’t list these. When the mid tier consultants recycle my work, I want them to have something to do.

With the financial vice closing on many keyword search firms, one has to be vigilant for partial or edited information. Hiving off connectors is a way to generate cash from “must have” code widgets. A serious connector business is a relatively large undertaking. That is one reason why certain firms eschew connectors completely; others code their own with varying degrees of success; and most firms turn to third parties for a bundle that handles the most common file types.

The goose may be old, but he makes an effort to identify as many sides of an issue as possible. What we have, therefore, is a potential instability in the shift from basic search to more sophisticated information fusion.

Stephen E Arnold, September 29, 2010

Freebie, unlike information from English majors, former journalists, and the azurini of the world


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