June 25th, 2003


Product Record: iPhrase

This is an off-site copy of the corresponding Product report page on the SearchTools.com website, and it is designed to allow you to comment on the product and/or the reporting. For more information about the topic of search and tools visit SearchTools.com where you can browse many articles, in-depth analysis and overviews of external resources.


Product Information

Platform: Windows NT 4, Unix Sun Solaris 7, works with any Java or COM Web Server
Price: according to an article, "from the mid six figures to more than $1 million"


  • Question-Answering software, somewhat like AskJeeves and Inference.
  • Natural-language processing of search queries
  • Dynamic summaries and organization of results
  • Indexes unstructured data such as web pages
  • Performs metasearch and aggregation on databases including Oracle and anything accessible via ODBC, also CORBA: Visigenic 3.3, 3.4 or 4.0.
  • Can filter, analyze, and compare products on multiple attributes

Articles & Reviews

  • You Are Here - Still lost? A cadre of new companies want to show you the way. New Architect January 2003, by David Howard
    Discusses new approaches to site search, surveys search technologies with sample vendors. Describes the SinglePoint approach, which uses classification, term frequency, inverse database frequency, length, timeliness, keyword prominence and positioning, and ways for users to disambiguate queries. iPhrase and InQuira offer natural-language processing of search queries, although it's difficult to get users to enter full sentences. Mentions many other search engines, VIMA's image-recognition software, search engine optimization techniques and email search.

  • Search On Information Week, January 20, 2003 by Tony Kontzer
    Discusses the need for useful search engines in corporate intranets. Describes experiences in Ford's Learning Network using Autonomy; Bank One and Kaiser Permanente using the Google Search Appliance for simplicity, low cost and speed; KMPG UK's use of Verity K2 for sophisticated taxonomy and social networking; Gateway's implementation of iPhrase for support technicians; and EDS using Recommind for role-related search results.

  • E-retailers seek improved search engines ComputerWorld August 12, 2002 by Carol Sliwa
    Report from eTail 2002 conference about online commerce sites responding to user demand by improving their search engines. Describes how Talbot's implementation of EasyAsk increased the average order size when using search by 18%, and the number of shoppers who search and then purchase by 34%. Nieman Marcus chose iPhrase and Spiegel chose Endeca after extensive comparisons.

  • Review; Search Technologies: iPhrase One Step CRN (Computer Reseller News) Test Center, May 7 2002 by Mario Morejon
    Describes search features including natural-language querying and concept matching. Can display variations on terms generated automatically such as IRA related to Individual Retirement Account, and generate SQL and other query syntaxes. Can display content in XML with stylesheets or extract sections and show them in table form. See also the overview In Search Of The Enterprise which has an analysis and reseller information.

  • Natural Search Tools Gain Context InternetWeek, November 26, 2001 by Jade Boyd
    Describes value of natural language search technology for answering questions within narrow vertical contexts. Quotes from the Washington State Dept. of Information Services explain the value of the Jeeves single search for all departments, and regular reports of user questions. Also provides examples of how iPhrase converts questions with implicit structure to explicit database queries.

  • Seeking far and wide for the right data InfoWorld, August 27 / September 3, 2001 by Cathleen Moore.
    Describes the value of search engines and categorization as essential elements of corporate portal infrastructures, to handle the "deluge" of information within enterprises. Quotes Aberdeen analyst Guy Creese who points out that without a good way to search, corporations would be "blowing their investment in the content". Covers recent announcements of search and categorization features by Autonomy, Verity, AltaVista, iPhrase, and Smartlogik (Muscat).

  • Schwab taps natural-language search engine Computerworld, July 16 2001 by Lucas Mearian
    Describes how the financial services firm spent nine months installing iPhrase search technology, based on a desire for a natural language search engine. The search engine presents tabulated results from multiple sources, instead of a list. This search functions best with the sections of the site that have structure, requires additional work for unstructured areas.

  • Speaking in tongues Upside, January 2001 by Julie Mitchell
    Short description of question-answering software. Kathleen Hall, an analyst with Giga Information Group, says, "iPhrase definitely has the technology advantage with its one-step solution. Financial-services sites, such as Charles Schwab, that have a lot of product information can benefit from this technology, but it's not going to replace full-service search engines."

  • Search Technology Gets Smart Inter@ctive Week, July 24, 2000 by Mindy Charski
    Describes how Charles Schwab will use iPhrase for help with financial information and support issues.

  • Duo takes Web searching to a new plateau eWeek, June 21, 2000 by Grant DuBois
    Describes Atomz Enterprise Search, with praise from a customer, and iPhrase natural-language analysis, with description from a Charles Schwab executive and general pricing.