Just Because You Can Search, That Doesn't Mean You Can Find It

As businesses evolve, so does business-critical information—both in make-up and volume. The economy may be stalling, but the rate at which it churns out data is not. IDC estimates that the digital universe will grow fivefold from 2008 to 2012. How effectively you can find that data may offer a vital competitive advantage.

For this reason, enterprise search is becoming essential to all businesses that have to sift through an increasing amount of data. Unlike Internet search (Google, Bing, and so on), enterprise search is used by employees to find relevant internal information such as documents, articles, product descriptions, case studies, informal notes, discussion boards, e-mail messages, job descriptions, resumes, patents, and legal decisions within the company’s Intranet—inside the firewall.

Search technologies commonly used for the Internet may not be suitable for searching data within an enterprise, where accuracy or relevance is a lot more important than getting 3 million mostly irrelevant hits in less than a second. While some prepackaged enterprise search applications and appliances may appear to be doing their job—at least on the surface—one market study estimates that 85% of organizations are able to access less than 50% of their data.

To solve these problems, more than 4,000 organizations, including Apple, Netflix, MySpace, the Library of Congress, and Zappos, are now using a free, open source system: Lucene/Solr. Besides being as good as—and for many applications, better than—high-priced commercial search products, Lucene/Solr’s transparency, control, and flexibility let you innovate and design search solutions that address your business-specific challenges. Best of all, the license cost is zero.

Anil Uberoi Vice-President of Marketing Lucid Imagination San Mateo, Calif.

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