Saturday, May 20, 2006

Search world less muddy (slightly)

We've learned quite a bit about the capabilities of modern search engines. I'll be attending the Enterprise Search Summit next week in New York, so I'm hoping that will clear up a lot of the nuts and bolts of it all. Sessions on constructing a taxonomy, etc.

While something like Autonomy would be great, we really don't have the resources to put it together just yet. Instead, we're probably going to go with more of the mid-range offerings. Leading contender at this point is Northern Lights. They are very low on the price scale (usually a warning sign), but I get good vibes from them every time we talk -- I have a very scientific vendor selection process, no?

They started as one of the dozen of Internet search engines in the 90s. Since then, they've gone through a few iterations to their current positioning as a Linux specialty search engine. It may be because they've always had an engineer on the phone call, but they strike me as a group that is passionate about search technology (weird as that may seem). Their engine seems to do everything that the ones charging $50k per year can do and they're genuinely interested in coming up with novel new uses for it. With the low price point, I see lots of potential to experiment with different options and gadgets on the search.

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