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6 posts from July 2008

July 24, 2008

Our Top 3 Google Search Appliance Tips

Many of the operators available on the public Google site are useful within the Google Search Appliance. Here are a few of the most interesting ones.

1: The tilde prefix (~) is the Thesaurus / Synonym operator:

Instead of searching for

Try searching for:

A memory mnemonic, remember that in math the ~ is often used as "approximately equal to" symbol.

2: Dot dot (..) does a range search:

You can do:

Or even use it for search years (though not full dates):

3: And who could forget site: operator, useful for double checking your own spider's indexing of your public site:

For our site as of this writing, Google shows 44 docs that mention 'microsoft':
    site:ideaeng.com microsoft

When you search for 'microsoft' from our home page, you get  gives 48 docs.

Try this on your own site - if the number in your search engine is lower than the Google count, your search is missing something!

There are of course a whole bunch more Google operators, and on the other Google Web Search Help Center, but  some of these tips came from MakeUseOf


July 21, 2008

New site for quality search tools and components

We're happy to announce that we've kicked off the beta of a new site to help the community of intranet, customer facing, and local search by proving a directory to the best of open source, no cost, low cost and commercial software tools, components, and products.

That site, mentioned by Steve Arnold this morning in his interview with Mark and I, is


We're beginning to post the tools we've been following for a few months now, and will have many more over the coming days, weeks, and months. Let us know if there's a tool you want to see listed by replying with a comment.

July 18, 2008

Microsoft Terms for SQL Server Search Components

I found a nice article about Microsoft Language Packs and MS SQL Server, including some info on Japanese and CJK handling, but another tidbit of info they had was how Microsoft refers to certain parts of their search engine:

  • What most vendors refer to as "indexing" MS refers to as "population" (into an index)
  • What most vendors call a "collection" Microsoft calls a "catalog" - we've seen other vendors use that term in the past.
  • And what most vendors call "tokenzation" or "tokenizers", Microsoft calls "word breakers", which is actually a bit more descriptive to a non programmer.

I actually wrote an article a few years ago comparing traditional relational databases to full-text search engines, which included a table of equivalent terms and concepts (near the end of the article).  If you're already familiar with databases, this will get you up to speed much faster!

July 17, 2008

An Interesting Idea for Microsoft Office Migration Tool

SearchComponentsOnline has a posting about using the MS OMPM tool as a sort of document filter.

July 14, 2008

Outside of the Box

Last week I spent four days in Houston Texas, enjoying humidity in the 90s with temperatures to match. The event was the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, the first since Microsoft acquired FAST Search and Transfer, and the first sporing several pretty good search solutions from Microsoft across a wide range of capabilities and cost.

At one of the final sessions, Rob Lancaster of FAST, like many others nowadays, described search as having gone "beyond the box" to the point that search is everywhere - it is the platform that enables collaboration, customized content, and a wide range or "web 2.0" capabilities. I certainly don't disagree.

The sign of a true visionary is being ahead of the curve. Philippe Courtot, CEO of Qualys, pretty much saved Verity on his own in 1991 with his management skills and drive. His mantra back then? "Search is ubiquitous". It's just taken the rest of the industry 15 years to catch up.

July 10, 2008

Customer Facing Search: 7 eCommerce Friendly Search Engines

eCommerce Search: Specialized Customer Facing Search

Lots of vendors offer search, but as some vendors try to expand deeper into the Enterprise Search market, others are targeting customer facing direct-revenue producing systems.  They are looking to power either B2C or B2B sites.

These vendors are likely to pop up for one of three reasons:

  1. Market Leader
  2. Smaller player but with heavy focus / track record for powering commerce with search
  3. Have technology directly targeted at eCommerce, with special results ranking or up-sell product suggestion engine, etc

And then there are the vendors you would think would be there... but we're not seeing so much of ...

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