Lookeen Desktop Search: Exclusive Interview Reveals Lucene as a Personal Search Solution

March 17, 2015

Axonic’s enterprise-centric search products eliminate most, if not all, of the problems a Windows user encounters when trying to locate related information produced by different applications on a desktop computer. Email and other types of information are findable with a few keystrokes.

When I was in Germany in June 2014, I learned about Lookeen, a desktop search product that was built on Lucene. The idea was to tap the power of Lucene to put content on a user’s computer at one’s fingertips. Imagine working in Outlook, reading a message, and seeing a reference to a PowerPoint on the user’s external storage device. Lookeen allows access to the content from within Outlook. Now the company is releasing a commercial version of its desktop search product that promises to be a game changer on the desktop and in the enterprise. The company offers robust functionality at a very attractive price point.

The role of Lucene and other technical innovations in the high-performance software appears in an exclusive interview with Lookeen’s chief operating officer. You can find the interview at http://bit.ly/1LizbkQ.

Lookeen Search Results

The Lookeen interface is intuitive. No training is required to install the Lucene-based system nor to use it for simple or complex information retrieval tasks. Image used with the permission of Axonic GmbH.

Lookeen is a product developed by Axonic, a software and services firm located in Karlsruhe, Germany, in Rhine Valley, a short distance from Stuttgart.  Axonic is one of the leading software development and services firms for Outlook and Exchange Server search technologies in Europe. The company specializes in enterprise applications and has a core competency in Microsoft technologies.

I wanted more detail about Lookeen’s approach to desktop search. In an exclusive interview, Peter Oehler, COO, revealed a its breakthrough approach to desktop search. The company’s Lookeen software gives Windows users the industry-leading search technology tuned for the Microsoft environment. Outlook email, PowerPoint decks, Word documents and other common file types are instantly findable.

Peter Oehler said:

We’ve utilized Lucene’s extensive query syntax to enable users to use familiar Google-like Boolean search, as well as wildcard, proximity, and keyword matching.  The introduction of more search strings and filter features enable users to narrow down searches in an easy and intuitive way, and more proficient searchers can access the best of Lucene’s query syntax.

He added:

Lucene is a very good, widely used open source search system. Many of the innovations we’ve developed on top of the Lucene engine stem directly from our extensive experience with Outlook. For example, the Lookeen context menu allows a user to open, reply to, forward, move and summarize emails and topics, all from within Lookeen.

What sets Lookeen apart from proprietary, freeware, and shareware is that Axonic has engineered its system to provide real-time access to information on the user’s computer. The system can handle terabytes of user content, returning results almost instantaneously.

Axonic has deep experience with Microsoft technology. Oehler told me:

Lucene is a beast within the Microsoft environment. Microsoft doesn’t make it easy to work with Outlook without causing problems or affecting performance. Outlook is the lifeblood of most professionals – the most important tool. If it stops working, you stop working. The art of our product is how we tackle the complex code hiding under the surface of Outlook and combine it with Lucene to create a deceptively smooth and simple search solution.

Beyond Search ran tests on Lookeen and compared the results with outputs from a number of test systems. Lookeen’s response times were among the fastest. When indexing and searching email, including archived collections of emails, Lookeen was the top performer. Our test systems include Copernic, dtSearch, Effective File Search, Gaviri, ISYS Desktop Search, and X1.

Lookeen requires no special training or complex set up. Lookeen allows a user to search external shared content directly from the Lookeen app. The interface is clear and logical. A busy professional can access needed documents, view and interact with them without launching an external application.

A 14 day free trial is available. The license fee is $58 for a single user version. The company offers a business edition (at $83) which adds group policy functions and an enterprise edition, which begins at about $116 per user, however volume discounts are available.

To read the complete exclusive interview with Peter Oehler, navigate to the Search Wizards Speak service at this link on ArnoldIT. More information about the company is available at http://www.lookeen.com.

Stephen E Arnold, March 17, 2015


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