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Product Report: Ultraseek

This is an off-site copy of the corresponding Product report page on the 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 where you can browse many articles, in-depth analysis and overviews of external resources.


(now Verity, previously developed by Infoseek, then Inktomi)

November 13, 2002 Verity announced it would buy Inktomi Enterprise Search, and continue development.

Ultraseek Information
XPA (Java) API
NativeX SDK

Price: Site: index one server: $1,995 for 1 - 3,000 pages; $4,995 to 10,000 pages
Enterprise = multi-servers: $2,995 for 1 - 3,000 pages; $7,495 to 10,000 pages
      Contact company for larger sites.
Platforms: Windows NT, Windows 2000; Unix: Sun Solaris 2.5 and above, Linux (RedHat, glibc, Kernel), HP-UX 11.0


  • Powerful and scalable search engine for thousands to millions of pages
  • Excellent browser administration interface
  • Robot spider can handle dynamic data, cookies, session IDs, Lotus Domino alternate views
  • Works with Watchfire Enterprise to improve searchability of content, including adding metadata automatically.
  • "Content Assistant" module for adding indexable metadata to documents or records from content management and classification systems.
  • Security integrates with Windows NT challenge-response, eRoom digital workplace and Netegrity SiteMinder.
  • Supports form-based authentication using server cookies
  • SSL spider module for HTTPS access to secure servers.
  • Distributed indexing and robot spider cooperation.
  • Indexes file systems, Microsoft Exchange Public Folders (versions 5.5 and 2000).
  • Automatic recognition of hypermail and MHonArc mailing list archives, indexing message content only.
  • Indexes databases using ODBC on Windows NT/2000, JDBC, and direct Sybase and Oracle access on Unix.
  • Index file formats: text HTML, XML, RTF, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Adobe FrameMaker, WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPro, Lotus Freelance Graphics, StarOffice, OpenOffice and zipped (compressed)
  • Stores index words in Unicode for internationalization.
  • Works with multiple languages and character systems, including language modules for English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, Thai, Albanian, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latvian, Polish, Romanian, and Turkish.
  • Uses Basistech Euclid for automatic language and encoding identification.
  • Flexible and customizable search forms and results pages, with Python hooks for additional processing
  • Automatic search term stemming.
  • Search thesaurus (synonyms) for suggestions and automatic query expansion, set per language.
  • Search options include date ranges, HTML meta tags, Dublin Core, XML tag fields and attributes, now recognizes wildcards * and ? at start, end or middle of words.
  • Spell checking queries based on the terms in the collection. ( v. 5)
  • "Quick Links" - manual recommendation results for popular searches
  • Options to adjust relevance ranking based on URL pattern, meta tags, etc.
  • Support for US Government Section 508 standards (disabled accessibility compliance).
  • Automatic title generation for WML documents
  • "Passage-Based Summaries" option to show results items with the matched search terms marked within context extracted from the document. ( v.5)
  • integration with ad servers Net Gravity and Accipter
  • Integrates with frameworks including IBM WebSphere Portal and Broadvision.
  • Extensive query and access logs
  • CCE (Content Classification Engine module) for creation of directories and display of search results with categories.
  • Inktomi NativeX SDK
    Toolkit for developers and OEMs
    • Java API
    • Uses XML sockets or HTTP
    • Runs on Windows NT/2000 and Sun Solaris.
    • Single interface to both text search on unstructured and semi-structured documents such as web pages and queries on structured data such as relational databases and XML documents
    • Uses XML and Unicode internally to index and cache documents
    • Translates over 250 file formats.
    • Supports XQuery
    • Allows wildcards in queries
    • Parametric search (ranges and fields).
    • Sorting by field as well as relevance
    • Access to most of the other features of the Inktomi Enterprise Search, including server independence, scalability and multithreading.

News and Articles

  • Ultraseek Version 5.1Verity Press Release
    This version adds significant improvements to the search and results page layout system, moving from a set of HTML templates with Python code to a more interactive approach which can be delegated to web site managers or search administration assistants. New search log analysis and reporting provides additional data and trend analysis. Other features include generating titles from content for untitled documents, options to cluster search results by path, and a long-time Verity feature, search term highlighting in target pages when the user follows a search result link. Can now index StarOffice, OpenOffice and zipped (compressed) documents.
  • Inktomi Enterprise Search Customers Face Uncertainty (PDF version) Gartner Report

    Discussion by Gartner analysts looks at the purchase within the enterprise search marketplace. Points out that by moving up to enterprise level, Verity was vulnerable to lower-end search engines such as Inktomi and Google on price. However, it now faces a difficult dual product strategy, and may not have the desired synergies because many Inktomi customers are satisfied with the current product capabilities. Recommends that enterprises using Inktomi should pressure Verity to explain how long it will support the product, and define future directions, and that prospects wait for Verity to demonstrate ability to continue development.

  • Avi Rappoport of analyzes the purchase of the Inktomi enterprise search engine (formerly Ultraseek) by Verity. This Information Today article describes the business relationships and plans of the companies, features of the Ultraseek (then Inktomi Search) engine, and the search engine marketplace.

  • Inktomi Enterprise Search to Be Acquired by Verity Inktomi Press Release

    Verity announced on November 13 that it is purchasing Inktomi's enterprise search software business (formerly known as "Ultraseek") for $25 million in cash. Verity, which has recently concentrated on knowledge management and social networking, says that it is doing this to "meet the needs of our enterprise customers" who can later migrate to the "advanced products portfolio". Verity says that they will continue to develop the search engine, XML toolkit and Quiver classification software.

  • Inktomi to Concentrate on Search, Buy Quiver: July 2002

    Inktomi has announced that it's going to direct resources to Web and enterprise search, reducing the content networking part of its business. It is also buying Quiver, which has developed a content categorization tool. Quiver has a mixed manual and automated classification workflow system, allowing editorial staff to adjust taxonomies and document categorization for best results.

Reviews and Articles

  • Inktomi [Ultraseek] wins Network Computing Magazine Award Network Computing, May 14, 2001
    Calls the enterprise search software "both effective and flexible", now that it includes a database connector.

  • Quiver To Integrate Classification with Ultraseek (then Inktomi Search) Press release, June 25, 2001
    Semi-automatic taxonomy and categorization tool will integrate Ultraseek (then Inktomi Search) Software to provide a complete information retrieval and navigation system. Quiver combines automated classification with editorial control to use human judgment in the processing.

  • Johns Hopkins Cures Its Search Woes InternetWeek, December 28, 2000 by David Drucker
    Report on how the university quickly ramped up using Ultraseek (then Inktomi Search) before a television show brought thousands of new site visitors. Installation was quick and allowed time for testing and tuning, while still allowing the search index to scale and respond quickly. Results are excellent, users get accurate results and web sites within the university are improving.

  • Security Advisory for version 3 November 2000 Does not apply to version 4.0
    Report of an input validation error with older versions of the software -- all customers should update to version 4.0 and/or restrict administration access and provide user-oriented error pages.

  • Search Engines: The Hunt Is On Network Computing Magazine: October 16, 2000 by Avi Rappoport
    In-depth discussion of search engines for e-commerce and other web sites covers features and future trends, software vs. services, database vs. text searching, natural-language searching, and open-source search engines covering ht://Dig and mnoGoSearch (formerly UdmSearch). The testing included indexing over 150,000 pages, and covered administration tools, customization, search features, relevance ranking and search logs. Products were Ultraseek (then Inktomi Search) (which won Editor's Choice), AltaVista Search, and Excalibur RetrievalWare, services were Atomz Enterprise Search and Searchbutton Corporate, which has since addressed some of the shortcomings reported. Also includes an email poll of Network Computing readers.



  • Documentum
  • Epicentric
  • Interwoven
  • Livelink
  • Netegrity
  • Yahoo! Enterprise Portal

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