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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Comprehensive Federated Search for Enterprises – Tomorrow from SAP and Oracle, Today From Muse

As we make the rounds with analysts and platform partners there’s more chatter than ever about federated content for enterprises. It’s not that federated search in enterprises is any thing new, of course – Muse has been doing it for ten years in thousands of enterprise installations around the world. But the position of federated search as an enterprise solution is beginning to shift. Years ago we started introducing federated search to enterprise libraries – the specialists in search for their organizations – to bring together collections from across an organization into a common electronic library interface. But as search engines became more popular in enterprises as the “go-to” starting points for finding content in a wider variety of enterprise repositories all of a sudden search engines began to trigger a turf battle with the major player in enterprise content integration.

It’s all about desktop and server room dominance: whose platform will be on top as the one into which everyone else’s content and services integrate? It used to be that vendors such as Oracle and SAP were the key content repository builders for enterprises through applications built around the capabilities of their platforms. While search engines from FAST/Microsoft, Autonomy, Google and others have gained a lot of popularity as one-stop shopping for search needs, there’s a comprehensive list of sources and interfaces that enterprises want to see integrated into search services.

It’s not just a matter of breadth of sources, either: many tricky issues such as database and network security, being able to assemble the most relevant content and being able to build a wide variety of outputs rapidly and cost-effectively all are major factors in getting a federated search environment working properly. There’s a long list of items that your customers will want checked off before they’ll take your solution seriously.

In theory this should play into the hands of platforms like SAP and Oracle – and in fact both have been moving to develop federated search applications for their current platforms. But when they say “yes” to being able to do federated search, just how broad is that answer? Does it include being able to manage security and access issues on the widest array of enterprise and Web databases possible? Does it mean being able to traverse any kind of network configuration to bring together and disseminate federated search results – including even the latest mobile platforms and legacy network protocols? Can they assemble not just raw search results from each source but also just the right content that makes sense in a given context?

These are hard questions for any content platform vendor to answer – unless they happen to be one that uses content integration solutions from MuseGlobal. With a decade of experience in developing successful solutions using federated search Muse has integrated more kinds of search engines, feeds and databases with more kinds of configurations for more kinds of content platforms than any one else. Muse federated search solutions are designed for optimal maintenance with a minimum of administration and hassle-free security and network management for the widest possible range of configurations.

Best of all, you can decide just how to integrate Muse’s capabilities around your platform – as a “back end” solution that can feed in the results of federated searches into your own platform or as a framework that can enable your platform to provide well-organized federated search results from both your own platform and other platforms combined into your own custom front-end solutions. Either way your clients will see it as your solution all the way – and keep you in the driver’s seat as your clients choose who is best at federating whom.

So whether you’re using Oracle, SAP, FAST, Microsoft Sharepoint Server, Google, Vignette, EMC/Documentum or another content platform to provide federated search solutions there’s one partner that you can call on that’s been there, done that and got just about every t-shirt there is to wear in content integration. It your time to spend trying to come up with a winning solution for federated search – why not spend it signing up more customers who will keep you on top? We’re glad to help you do it, too.