Enterprise search vendor Endeca has launched a major new version of its Information Access Platform designed to help companies build bigger, faster and more accurate search applications for customers or internal staff.
The 'McKinley' release of the platform features a redesigned MDEX core which uses 64-bit technology, multi-core chips and parallelisation to let firms build enhanced search applications with a lower total cost of ownership, according to Endeca chief strategist Paul Sonderegger.
The new MDEX engine is able to cope with between 50 and 100 per cent more data, thanks in part to these improvements, the firm said.
Endeca has also embraced industry standards with the new release, making the MDEX engine accessible through an application programming interface based on the Simple Object Access Protocol, and including an XQuery framework and out-of-the-box web service for querying the engine.
Enterprise architects and Web 2.0 developers will be able to build new plug-in user interface features, known as 'cartridges', or entirely new search applications using the framework, said Sonderegger.
One of the first companies to use the new technology has been the Financial Times Group, which launched its Newssift web site last week. The site is designed to allow customers to search large amounts of content in order to make informed business decisions.
After searching for an initial term, Endeca's technology extracts entities from the documents it returns and presents the user with more search parameters to drill down into, for example, by people, organisation, themes and so on. The new technology also allows 'sentiment analysis', so that users can search for positive, negative or neutral documents about a particular subject.
"These are user determined views, not the ones the content curators might have set up on their own," explained Sonderegger.
Ovum analyst Mike Davis suggested that Endeca will be hoping that its huge investment in an improved architecture will push it ahead of rivals Autonomy and Microsoft's Fast, which may have been slightly distracted by recent acquisition activity.
"Endeca has stuck to its knitting, providing all the information in context and at the right time that you need to make the right decisions," said Davis. " It's a nice proposition and very powerful."
Endeca also launched two offerings for the e-commerce and publishing industries built on the new platform.
"The Endeca Commerce Suite and Publishing Suite are twins. They both provide advanced merchandising and editing capabilities, for merchandisers in the case of online retail and commerce, and for editors in the case of publishing," said Sonderegger.
Both feature a PageBuilder tool which enables editors or merchandisers to gain fine-grained control over the site experience, allowing them to build pages and fine-tune search results, he added.
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