July 22nd, 2003

searchtools.com

Product Server: Microsoft Index Server

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.

Microsoft Index Server

Index Server Product Information
FAQ
Adobe PDF filter

Price: free with Windows NT Plus Pack and other Windows Information Server packages
Platform: Windows NT (Server only, not Workstation), Windows 2000

Security Patches

Summer, 2001: The CodeRed Worm can attack unpatched versions of Index Server on Windows NT and Windows 2000. Exploiting this vulnerability allows attackers to run code of their choice on machines with Index Server installed.

Spring, 2000: Microsoft has announced a Security Vulnerability with Index Server on Windows NT 4 and Windows 2000. Essentially, any site which runs Index Server can be compromised if the server receives certain erroneous commands. We recommend that everyone who is running Index Server read the FAQ and apply the patch.

Technical Support and Discussions

Microsoft Index Server Usenet Newsgroup

Index Server on IIS Answers Bulletin Board

IISLists.com - Index Server Mailing List

Articles and Reviews

Page Updated 2003-07-22
searchtools.com

Product Report: Google Search Appliance

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.

Google Search Appliance

Product Information

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See also: Google Search Service

Platform: Google-specific Linux on supplied hardware
Prices: (educational-pricing available)

  • GB-1001 $28,000 for 150,000 documents, $50,000 for 300,000 documents, secure system crawling additional $10,000
  • GB-5005 $230,000, includes one or two collections of up to 1.5 million documents each, secure system crawling
  • GB-8008 $450,000 for an an 8u server rack with secure system crawling, additional load balancing features, and capacity for up to 5 collections of 4 million documents each.

Features

  • Fast link spidering using Google robot technology.
  • Excellent control of exactly which servers and directories are indexed.
  • Handles over 200 file types including HTML, PDF, PostScript, RTF, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, and Lotus.
  • Identifies 28 language and allows users to restrict searching to one of them.
  • Crawls protected sites using Basic Authentication (passwords) and SSL, supports proxies, designed for intranets and firewalls.
  • Real-time reporting of indexing progress, including special listings for locations and problems
  • Searching uses Google's PageRank relevance sorting algorithm.
  • Provides Google search features such as spellchecking, cached pages, hit highlighting in "snippets", grouping by directory
  • Indexes and searches all meta tag data
  • Web browser administration makes the search engine easy to control by less-technical people.
  • Search results are provided in XML, with server-side XSLT stylesheet options for formatting.
  • Search log reports include top queries and special features as well as complete listings.
  • June 2002 update
    • Increase in the capacity of the 1001 (1u unit) to 300,000 pages.
    • Now optimized for faster query performance during crawls and shorter crawl times.
    • Supports indexing integration with NT Security, session IDs, Lotus Domino servers.
    • Archives with rarely-changing content can be identified and crawled less often.
    • Pattern Tester Utility lets admins check which URLs will be affected by a change.
    • Various other admin interface improvements.
    • Page Layout Helper provides an interface to the XSLT results page formatting.
  • September 2002 update
    • New 5005 version for sites with more than 300,000 pages
    • 8008 can search up to 7 million documents in two collections at one time.
    • Secure search features
      • Basic authentication (user name and password)
      • NTLM in the current domain
      • Checks document level security at retrieval time
      • Option to treat search users as already authenticated
    • User Interface Wizard for customizing query and results pages
    • Freshness: can create an "incremental" collection for frequently-changing sections
    • Crawls in priority order based on PageRank and links

Articles and Reviews

  • City Ogles Google Impact information Week, January 22, 2003 by Tony Kontzer
    The City of San Diego was unhappy with their search engine, an old version of Verity bundled with another program. Instead of a costly upgrade to Verity K2, the city chose to install the Google Search Appliance, to great appreciation from employees and citizens. It also indexes Documentum, Sun One and database applications, improving access and simplifying tasks. The article is slightly misleading, the Verity application was not an appliance, and the Google Search Appliance crawls the application data via their Web interfaces, which is not explained in the article.
  • CareerBuilder Passes Google For Another Search Engine InformationWeek, January 22, 2003 by Tony Kontzer
    CareerBuilder, a recruitment and job-finding service, was limited by its original search engine, Microsoft Index Server. After assessing a number of search engines, including the Google Search Appliance, they choose Fast Data Search, mainly so they could adjust search results and provide pay-for-position services. The speed of the FAST search engine, up to 140 searches per second, and near-real-time index updates were other considerations in the choice.
  • 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.

  • Google Takes Aim At The Enterprise InternetWeek.com, June 18 2002, by Richard Karpinski
    Reports from Google Search Appliance users -- National Semiconductor says it's easy to deploy and end-users are predisposed to like it. Sur La Table says the Google product was significantly cheaper than other similar search engines, and delivers results in XML for programmatic processing using open standards.

  • Google Search Appliance version 3: SearchTools Analysis SearchTools.com, September 30, 2002 by Avi Rappoport
    Updated review with new features.

  • Google Search Appliance version 1: SearchTools Analysis SearchTools.com, March 23, 2002 by Avi Rappoport
    Detailed review of the features of the search engine with screenshots, covering robot crawling, indexing features, search features, results customizing and reports. Conclusion: This is an excellent search engine for HTTP-accessible content, with comprehensive administration tools, wonderful reports, familiar search features and powerful customization options. However, it doesn't have the significant advantages over the competition that the public Google search does: relevance ranking is similar to other high-quality search engines. If you want more control over crawling schedules or relevance weighting, or you need to integrate with enterprise security systems, textual databases, content or document management systems, this version can't accommodate you. But it's effective, fast and particularly well-priced for Intranets or web sites with millions of documents.

  • A Wave Of Innovations Heats Up Site Search (customer access required) Forrester TechStrategy Brief, March 1, 2002 by Harley Manning with Christopher Mines
    Describes several new features of site search including better relevance as pioneered by the public Google search engine and the Google Search Appliance (does not cover whether it works in controlled link environments), improved forgiveness to handle misspellings and mismatched vocabularies as implemented by Netrics, automated intelligence - classification and categorization engines such as Autonomy and the new ClearForest, and creative pricing, mentioning EasyAsk, which in one installation, received a percentage of increased revenue. Describes the market difficulties including the high number of vendors and shrinking corporate site budgets.

  • Google's enterprising search CNET News.com February 12, 2002 by Whit Andrews, Gartner Analyst
    Describes the Google Search Appliance features, including competitive pricing and "appealing" features for searching common document formats. Points out some problems with access to databases, security and access control, and PageRank limitations in the structured design of business sites and intranets. Also mentions difficulty integrating with business intelligence and customer relationship management applications.

Examples

searchtools.com

Produce Report: FAST Data Search

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.

FAST Data Search

comes in Professional, Enterprise and SST versions.

Product Information

Platform: Linux, Solaris, Windows, HP-UX and AIX, remote search service available.
Price: contact company, product line starts at $120,000

FAST (Fast Search and Transfer) has purchased the AltaVista Enterprise Search business from Overture, which will retain the Web portal search engine. This move is eerily reminiscent of the breakup of Inktomi, with the Web portal search engine purchased by Yahoo! and the enterprise search engine (Ultraseek) by Verity, and the recent sale of the FAST web portal AllTheWeb to Overture. However in this case, the AltaVista Enterprise Search Engine will be supported but not developed further, and customers will be encouraged to move to the Fast Enterprise Search platform.

February 25, 2003: FAST Selling Web Search to Overture, Concentrating on Enterprise Search

Fast Search and Transfer, a Norwegian search engine company, has announced that it's selling its Internet Business unit to Overture. The assets sold include the webwide search engine, the AllTheWeb.com search portal, and the partner services which provide search to such sites as Lycos. Overture, which recently purchased the search company AltaVista, is a leading pay-for-placement Web search engine. FAST plans to concentrate on enterprise search products, which are currently used on large corporate web sites, government sites and Intranets. See the press release for more details.

Features

  • Distributed search engine architecture
  • Can scale to millions of pages and hundreds of queries per second.
  • High-speed robot crawler
  • Interfaces with standard databases including Oracle
  • Handles XML hierarchies
  • File formats include PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and many others using Stellant (INSO) filters
  • Near-real-time index updating for breaking news and auction sites
  • Includes categorization features
  • Supports fifty languages and many character encodings including Asian double-byte Chinese, Korean, and Japanese
  • Linguistic query features include stemming, and spellchecking
  • Supports synonym lists, manual recommendation and business rules
  • Search reporting and log analysis
  • Extensive APIs provide excellent customization options
  • Browser admin allows search administrators to perform maintenance and some configuration.

Articles and Reviews

  • FAST tunes up enterprise search software InfoWorld, March 24, 2003 by Scarlet Pruitt
    Version 3.2 of the FAST search engine suite adds search engine log analysis in near-real-time, management tools for delegating search adjustments to content editors and business managers, and additional document categorization and clustering. Whit Andrews of Gartner Research is quoted as saying that while the upgrades will not change the market landscape, FAST is "absolutely going in the right direction and has a robust and mature product." He also noted that corporations have had trouble learning about enterprise search , which has hindered the industry "spectacularly".
  • CareerBuilder Passes Google For Another Search Engine InformationWeek, January 22, 2003 by Tony Kontzer
    CareerBuilder, a recruitment and job-finding service, was limited by its original search engine, Microsoft Index Server. After assessing a number of search engines, including the Google Search Appliance, they choose FAST Data Search, mainly so they could adjust search results and provide pay-for-position services. The speed of the FAST search engine, up to 140 searches per second, and near-real-time index updates were other considerations in the choice.
  • eBay to Enhance Site Performance with FAST Data Search Press release, August 16, 2001
    FAST announces that eBay will be installing the FAST search engine, though no details or timetable are given. [note: as of July 2003, this has not happened].

  • FAST Search Targets Enterprise Clients and Mid-Range Webmasters with Site Search Products Traffik.com; June 25, 2001, by Andrew Goodman
    Describes FAST search software features such as language support, technical robustness and scalability. New remote search service provides site search and inclusion in the Lycos index in one package.

  • Leveraging Corporate Information with Plug-and-Play Intranet Search Dell Computer Corp. White Paper, 2001 by Oystein Olsen
    Describes the value of Intranet searching and how the FAST search engine can fit into an Intranet.

  • Links to articles about AllTheWeb and Lycos.

  • Lycos Gets Fast With MP3 Wired News, February 1, 1999 by Ronald Warren Deutsch
    Describes the Lycos MP3 search site built with the FAST Search technology.

Examples