July 10th, 2003

searchtools.com

Product Report: OpenBridge Search & Navigation Engine

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.

OpenBridge Search & Navigation Engine
(formerly ZNow)

Product Information (acquired by Endymion systems, May 2002)

Platform: Windows 2000, Unix, including Linux
Price: contact company

Features

  • Automated classification and taxonomy puts pages into concept topics based on common words among a set of search results.
  • Hierarchical clustering lets users chose more and more specific concepts.
  • Topical "chunking" of complex documents breaks them down into manageable sections.
  • Designed for corporate portals, intranets, topical search engines and vertical portals ("vortals")

Articles & Reports

  • Unstructured Information Management Report Infosphere, March, 2003 by Magnus Stensmo and Mikael Thorson, $325/€295 for a single PDF license
    General report on search and categorization tools. Praises the federated search functionality, but finds the offering too limited, search only.

Examples

searchtools.com

Product Report: Endeca Faceted Metadata Search and Browse

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.

Endeca Faceted Metadata Search and Browse

Product Information

Platform: Unix: Linux or Solaris on x86 servers, Windows 2000 and XP
Price: depends on site size, in the range of $50,000 to $400,000 per year

Features

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  • Faceted metadata search engine - shows attributes of result set along with listings
  • "Guided navigation" -- integrates search and browse capabilities
  • Works with existing taxonomies and categories
  • Dynamically determines attributes, no dead-ends
  • Preview numbers show how many are in each category
  • E-commerce version, InFront, features include merchandising related items, personalized results.
  • Enterprise version, ProFind, provides one interface to search both pages and databases.
  • XML and database imports (Oracle, DB2, SQL Server)
  • Data Foundry transforms incoming content, converts to hierarchy when appropriate, regularizes it, combines multiple sources, performs preliminary navigation state computation.
  • Data is modeled in multiple dimensions, based on automatic calculations of relationships
  • Search administrator has editorial control over categories and displays
  • Powerful search engine includes spellchecking, stemming and synonyms.
  • Low level APIs in C/C++, scripting languages, COM; high-level APIs in ASP and Perl.
  • Scales to hundreds of millions of records, hundreds of searches or clicks per second.
  • Distributes search and indexing across servers for redundancy, fault-tolerance and scaling.

Articles

  • Unstructured Information Management Report Infosphere, March, 2003 by Magnus Stensmo and Mikael Thorson, $325/€295 for a single PDF license
    General report on search and categorization tools, includes Endeca company and financial information.
  • Guided Search Experience Line56, October 8, 2002 by Jim Ericson
    Report on Endeca ProFind, faceted metadata search and browse for enterprise. Quotes customer Paul Magin of Information Handling Service (IHS), who describes how Endeca software can help people find information based on vague criteria, 300% faster than the previous interface. IHS was able to switch from Sun enterprise servers to cheaper Intel-powered servers connected to an Oracle database, reducing hardware and admin costs by 50%.

  • Guiding Web customers to sales nirvana Network World, August 19 2002 by John Dix
    Editorial approval of the Endeca faceted metadata approach for online commerce.

  • 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.

  • When Search Is Not Enough: Guided Navigation from Endeca IDC Bulletin, May 2002 by Mary Flanagan and Susan Feldman
    A commissioned report, describing the problems of information overload in search results and the faceted metadata search implemented by Endeca's Navigation Engine. Provides business background, competitive analysis and software overviews. Uses Tower Records as a case study.

  • A towering decision InfoWorld, February 8 2002 by Stephanie Sanborn
    Describes the search engine purchase process for Tower Records. They also wanted navigation and browsing functions, and had been using local custom code, and decided that the investment in making a high-quality system was too high. Tower chose Endeca's InFront catalog, search and navigation software because of the functionality and performance. In making the build-vs.-buy decision, Tower required a vendor that would perform trials and make changes when necessary. The Endeca application has been eliciting positive feedback from customers.

Examples