October 3, 2012
It is an exercise in frustration: you’ve previously searched for and found a certain something online, but when you wish to refer to it again, it stubbornly refuses to be found. Developing a reflexive bookmarking habit could save you, but not if the page you want has been removed. New search engine SeenBefore tackles that uniquely modern hassle. Its description succinctly explains:
“Works across multiple machines, displays results within Google’s results and stores the website so if the content online ever changes, you can still read it.
“40% of searches online are people simply looking for what they have already seen before. Time to improve this experience!”
So, with this tool installed, SeenBefore will save all your search results on their cloudy servers. But wait, you may say, why not just use the browser history? Because, they would reply, “people regularly delete their browser history.” Well, yes. . . there’s a reason for that.
The site does give some nods to privacy. It doesn’t keep track while you’re in “incognito” mode, and gives you the option to disable the recording for a couple hours at a time. They insist they will never share data with third parties. Also, if enough users say they like the idea, they will offer a private server for $300 per year.
SeenBefore is a neat concept, and I believe them when they say privacy is important to them. If they ever have a well-publicized breach, after all, they are sure to fizzle fast. However, the idea still makes me a little uneasy. I think I’ll stick to my cache and my bookmarks; thanks anyway.
Cynthia Murrell, October 03, 2012
September 19, 2012
A fascinating and strange innovation has been introduced from Amazon early this month. The company has introduced a new spin on search, which offers instant information to users about the media they are working with. According to “Amazon Introduced X-Ray Technology for Kindle Lineup” on SlashGear, the X-Ray technology allows users to simply tap on the media they are interacting with and get information about that media. For example, a user watching a movie from Amazon can tap the film and get data instantly from IMDB.
The article tells us more:
“The same brand technology appears in X-Ray for Textbooks, with your ability to tap anywhere – or in a whole lot of places, at least, for more information at your whim. When you’re tapping a video, you get information not just about the video, but about everyone in the scene that’s identifiable. In a textbook, more educational information appears. This X-Ray technology is set to be shown on the Amazon Kindle Fire HD lineup first, and will certainly be expanded in the future.”
The technology also already exists on the Kindle Paperwhite ereader and enables users to tap anywhere on a page to get information about characters and other story details. We are impressed with this seemingly magical search without search feature and are curious to see more action from this tappable technology.
Andrea Hayden, September 19, 2012
September 11, 2012
We read “5 Tips for Turning a SharePoint 2010 Search Center into a Find Center.” The points are useful and include such suggestions as appointing a search administrator, have a SharePoint Search plan, and monitor the search system.
We found this passage interesting:
The default Search Center above might be enough for some sites (hey, the minimalist approach works for Google), but with some work, you can turn this into a Search Center that is useful enough for users to set it as their home page. You can get a lot of good ideas from the white paper How Microsoft IT Deployed FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, especially the Enterprise search center article. This screenshot from the white paper provides an example of what you can do with your Search Center. FAST Search Server will give you a richer experience on the search results page, but the items you see on this Search Center are achievable with SharePoint 2010—or even SharePoint 2007. To create a Search Center that is the go-to place for your users, you can add helpful information such as links to event calendars, corporate news, campus maps, benefits, expense reporting, and research portals.
In our experience, SharePoint Search can deliver high-value services to users throughout an organization. SharePoint, particularly with its distributed and cloud capabilities, can now provide exceptional information access across a wide range of on premises and remote worker use cases.
However, only a handful of consulting services firm have the technical expertise and hands-on experience necessary to deploy a SharePoint solution in a matter of days. Search Technologies has implemented hundreds of SharePoint Search solutions, and the firm’s technical staff knows how to move through a project from its inception to its customization and optimization in an efficient manner.
If you want to move SharePoint to the next level, consider Search Technologies.
Iain Fletcher, September 11, 2012
Sponsored by Augmentext
September 6, 2012
We have been tracking useful sources of information about search for SharePoint 2013. You will find the three minute video prepared by Search Technologies an excellent place to begin. Search Technologies points out that the Fast search technology, acquired by Microsoft in 2008, and it is at the heart of SharePoint 2013. Technologies and ideas from Bing and elsewhere have been added to the mix to provide a comprehensive set of enterprise search capabilities, with plenty of room for customization. Search for SharePoint 2013 includes a rules-based query parsing framework. Search Technologies indicates that pricing has not yet been formally announced, but it is generally assumed that this search functionality will be a standard part of SharePoint 2013. See http://www.searchtechnologies.com/sharepoint-15-search-overview.html.
Microsoft has done a great job of providing information about SharePoint 2013 search. I wanted to make sure you knew that a series of articles is pulling together much of the Microsoft information and adding some insights that could be difficult to locate.
We can point out another useful source of information in this Microsoft document.
The author is Nicki Borell. The first three parts of his coverage of SharePoint 2013 discuss:
- Office 365
- What Happens with Fast in SharePoint 2013
- Search Dictionaries, Query Builder, Query Client Type.
Two more articles will appear in the near future, and these will cover administrative changes and user interface modifications.
Our engineers at Search Technologies track SharePoint 2013 on an hourly basis. We found that the discussion of dictionaries, query builder, and query client type were useful for two reasons:
- The articles include screenshots which make it easy to get oriented in a graphical or PowerShell environment
- There is sufficient descriptive narrative to make clear the specific feature; however, for those working with certain large SharePoint environments, additional explanation might prove useful to some system administrators.
Search Technologies has the deep experience required to handle basic and advanced SharePoint configuration, customization, and integration for any size SharePoint deployment. For more information, visit http://www.searchtechnologies.com/.
Iain Fletcher, September 6, 2012
Sponsored by Augmentext
August 27, 2012
On the Q2 Dassault conference call, there was a brief mention of one of our favorite companies, Exalead. Seaking Alpha serves up the conversation in “Dassault Systemes’ CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results (Afternoon Call)- Earnings Call Transcript.”
We have long been interested in Exalead, and applauded Dassault’s decision purchase the business and invest resources in expanding it, rather than simply licensing its technology. So, how have things been going? When Dessault president and CEO Bernard Charles was asked about any general plans to provide a lifecycle management solution, he noted in part:
“. . . there is one thing we are doing in a completely different way maybe you have heard about it so I want to connect this to that point. We are now providing extremely innovative spare part management systems which are based on completely revolutionary platform using EXALEAD which has proven to provide amazing results that are very different from traditional implementation of spare parts systems potential available or proximities to talk about it. Jay? Next question?”
Wait, next question? But we want to know more! Oh, well. Not much discussion about Exalead, I’m afraid. Perhaps next quarter.
Exalead was founded in 2000 and purchased by engineering powerhouse Dassault in 2010. Exalead’s CloudView platform is uniquely capable of seamlessly integrating structured and unstructured data. We find their approach to be stable, offering platform flexibility, mobile search, and mash-ups. Oh, and their solutions are more affordable than much of the competition.
Cynthia Murrell, August 27, 2012
August 23, 2012
If you have been using Google Mini as your search appliance of choice, then probably by now you know that you’ve been forcefully exiled. But worry not, Mini refugees. There’s still good news.
Thunderstone, a leading player in search and content processing has announced that they will be offering an upgrade path that will allow Google Mini owners to transition to the Thunderstone Search Appliance smoothly.
The write-up “Thunderstone Provides Special Competitive Upgrade Offer for Google Mini Owners” gives us more details:
“For customers upgrading to the Thunderstone Search Appliance, Thunderstone will honor the remaining warranty and support contract on the Google Mini as an extension to the standard two year support contract on a Thunderstone Search Appliance. In addition Thunderstone will provide assistance in the migration and a 30-day money back guarantee, so that the entire process is painless.”
For a long time, many felt sorry for Thunderstone for having been forced to fight head-on with Google even though they pioneered the search appliance. It’s such a pity that the first runner in the field doesn’t necessarily win. But good thing that it was able to stick around. Now, it even offers a good upgrade package for Google Mini after it was announced that the latter’s production will be discontinued. What a relief for Mini users.
Lauren Llamanzares, August 23, 2012
August 21, 2012
We learn that dtSearch is beta testing its product line’s version 7.70 from Technology Magazine in “Beta Enhances dtSearch Document Filters to Display Highlighted.” The press release tells us:
“dtSearch Corp., a leading supplier of enterprise and developer text retrieval along with document filters, announces beta testing of Version 7.70 of the dtSearch product line. The new version adds multiple improvements to the document filters spanning the dtSearch product line. For customers in need of data parsing, conversion and extraction only, the dtSearch Engine APIs (native 64-bit/32-bit, Win/Linux C++, Java and .NET through 4.x) also make the document filters available for separate OEM licensing.”
Besides the dtSearch Engine, available for Windows and .NET or for Linux, the new release also applies to dtSearch Web with Spider, dtSearch Network with Spider, dtSearch Publish, and dtSearch Desktop with Spider.
Users of the new version will find that it supports a wide array of data types, and that image support has been added to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, RTF, and email files. Enhancements have also been made to the multi-level nested configurations, including a new “object extraction” API. The write up also emphasizes the following features: built-in spider functionality; a terabyte indexer; assorted search options; and international language support. See the press release for more details.
Incorporated in Virginia in 1991, dtSearch began its text retrieval R&D back in 1988. Business and government organizations in over 70 countries rely on its wide product line to manage a myriad of data related tasks.
Cynthia Murrell, August 21, 2012
August 18, 2012
In another “we won a prize” announcement from a search and content processing vendor, Expert System boasts, “Expert System Customer Telecom Italia Recognized for Top Website.” Telecom Italia‘s site, which uses Expert System’s Cogito semantic technology, was named the top corporate site by KWD Webranking in its Europe 500 annual survey.
Naturally, Expert System takes the opportunity to highlight the newest Cogito features that helped Telecom Italia build a great site. The write up lists:
- “Did you mean?”: Cogito’s ability to understand the meaning of words facilitates greater access to information, even in the case of ambiguous requests. This feature suggests alternate formulas for search queries that contain errors or misspellings.
- Categorization: Expert System developed a custom taxonomy to categorize the Telecom Italia knowledge base, which enables more effective search and navigation of site content.
- Multilanguage results: In addition to search results in Italian, the search engine broadens results by including a separate set of results in English for each query.
- Results filtering by file type: Users can choose to refine results by the type of content they’re looking for, such as by web pages, videos or PDF.
All valuable features, to be sure. We find this crowing about prizes to be an interesting approach to marketing. Effective? Not sure.
Based in Modena, Italy, Expert System has satellite offices in Europe and the US. Business and government organizations in several fields use their solutions for data management, collaboration, and customer relationship management.
Cynthia Murrell, August 18, 2012
August 13, 2012
Microsoft posted two documents which we believe merit any SharePoint licensee’s attention. The principal features of the latest SharePoint appear on the Microsoft SharePoint site.
Search will be particularly important because SharePoint 2013 will make it easier to incorporate social content and support mobile access. The new SharePoint will be available later this year or early in 2013. Getting a head start is important if you plan to upgrade.
The SharePoint Server 2013’s enterprise search model provides information we found quite useful. The diagram’s PDF is 560 Kb and available from the Microsoft download center. The PDF covers:
- Search Components, including the application components and the search databases
- Example topologies. The illustrated use case is a medium-sized search farm with 40 million items or content objects in the system
- Scaling out. The diagram includes a proposal model for a search farm which handles 100 million item or content objects.
Of particular value are the details for the hardware required to support the 100 million item farm. A series of tables covers the scaling considerations, detail about the application servers recommended, and a table layout the hardware requirements necessary to handle upticks in the volume of content to be processed.
In the general guidance section, Microsoft points out that one additional crawl database is needed per additional 20 million items. One link database is recommend per additional 60 million items. The schematic’s detail recommends that the system include redundancy.
Bottom line, there is no mistaking the Fast-like functionality described here. Search Technologies has delivered more than 30,000 consultant-days of search implementation services to Fast and SharePoint users since 2005. We believe that this new search functionality will be widely adopted over the next few years, and we look forward to helping our customers to implement it.
Iain Fletcher, August 13, 2012
Sponsored by Augmentext
August 7, 2012
Do you need to pull SharePoint Fast Search crawl logs? We do. We read with interest an item on Microsoft’s TechNet Web site. “Get SharePoint Search Crawl Logs” provides an almost ready-to-run script which will accept a search service name and display the associated crawl logs. If there is a crawl log with an error, the script flags that instance. To script can be edited so that it returns different information from the crawly logs. In order to make this tweak, the $crawlLogFilters can be edited.
SharePoint Fast usually does an excellent job of processing content. However, some documents can be malformed or an unexpected network issue can arise. As a result, certain content can be skipped or ignored. A visual inspection of crawl logs is not practical when SharePoint is processing large volumes of content.
If you want to view the crawl logs, TechNet provides a wealth of information. A good place to begin your investigation is in the TechNet Library. If you want to expOrt the SharePoint 2010 search crawl logs, you will find a useful Powershell script in Dave Mc’s Blog in the article “Export the SharePoint 2010 Search Crawl Log.” MSDN also provides information about exporting SharePoint 2010 search crawl logs. To access this information, navigate to the SharePoint Escalation Team’s blog.
Search Technologies’ team of experienced engineers can provide automation tools which eliminate the need to search for solutions to common problems. To learn more about our SharePoint and FFast Search implementation services, navigate to http://www.searchtechnologies.com/microsoft-search.html or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iain Fletcher, August 7, 2012
Sponsored by Augmentext