Independent of your industry, finding the right information in order to make relevant decisions is an important aspect in running a successful and effective business.
Raytion has years of experience in implementing company-wide enterprise search solutions at leading multi-national companies and organizations. It offers a full-range of services from consulting, requirements analysis and planning, system design and implementation, application integration and deployment, content and security integration, to support and maintenance for your enterprise search solutions.
Today, employees face the situation of searching amongst a vast number of information repositories and systems in an attempt to find the information they need. Efficiently retrieving information from specific systems like SAP, Documentum or Oracle for example while respecting the security policies put in place can be a tedious task, if at all possible using regular retrieval methods, and the results returned can be very unsatisfying.
Implementing a dedicated enterprise search platform solves these problems and eases the process of finding relevant information. However, many aspects come into play when implementing these sophisticated and complex infrastructures, which vary according to customer requirements, business or organizational models, type of users, and use case scenarios.
In enterprise search, the word integration can refer to two concepts: application integration and content integration.
Involves integrating search engine technologies into the existing IT-landscapes and ensuring the seamless interoperability between software components.
Is about integrating content from similar or heterogeneous source systems and enabling the search engine to index the content types and formats from these systems. Four options for integrating content include: crawlers (also known as spiders), file traversers, federators and connectors. Integrating content from specific systems can be a complex task and requires specialized and customized content connectors.
When searching for documents, it is important to ensure that the search engine does not retrieve unauthorized information and that the security policies put in place are honored. This aspect becomes particularly important when connecting to and retrieving information from varying applications, since each application can have its own set of security policies and rules. Two approaches to securing search include index-based filtering (pre-search) and result-based filtering (post-search).
Integrating content from specific systems like SAP, Oracle and Documentum, while respecting the security policies of each source system can be a difficult, time-consuming and expensive task for both the customer and system integrator. Although crawlers can crawl through repositories and index data, they are not able to retrieve underlying information (e.g. information hidden behind forms), honor the security models of the source systems (in some cases crawlers can violate security policies), and are not able to detect changes to the underlying sources systems in real-time.
Raytion has developed a standard set of event-driven enterprise search connectors, which share the same core and solve the challenges of securely accessing information and detecting changes in real-time from heterogeneous source systems.
Linguistic processing plays an essential role when it comes to retrieving and finding relevant information. Implementing linguistic models not only improve information retrieval, user experiences and simplifies the search process, but also help in improving query performance and in reducing the size of the index.
Examples of linguistic processing include: localizing search by identifying the language the user is searching in, tokenizing and removing stop words, normalizing characters for languages that contain diacritic characters, stemming to retrieve documents that contain words with the same stem, identifying related words using lemmatization, creating a synonyms dictionary, implementing spell-checking techniques, and extracting entities.
In order to implement an enterprise search project that scales to a large-number of documents, peta-bytes of data and thousands of users, aspects like server sizing, index size, index speed and latency, queries per second, load balancing, scaling security information with respect to access rights, and fault tolerance must be put into consideration when designing the system architecture.
User Interface Design
Reducing the time it takes for a user to interact with a system and find relevant information can help businesses and organizations gain revenue (e.g. in the case of e-commerce sites), improve productivity, and support the process of decision making. Query-side design and usability includes guiding the user query with: auto-complete, spell-checking, did you mean?, and simple and advanced search options. Result-list usability is about guiding the user in easily finding the required information from a set of returned results. Examples of result-list usability include faceted search, document summaries and displaying document meta-data. Other usability aspects involve embedding the search interface into existing enterprise systems or websites and tailoring the search interface to fit with corporate design policies and guidelines.
To maintain a healthy enterprise search solution and optimize the search functionalities and retrieved content, it is essential to analyze users’ search needs and experiences. Raytion Search Analytics is a dedicated tool that visualizes search behavior and offers the possibility to take a deeper look into what users are looking for. Customized reports can be generated that detail and analyze user actions. Examples include queries searched for, query reformulations, queries returning zero hits, using search support such as “did you mean?”, spelling corrections, auto-complete or advanced search, and user interactions with the result lists.
We have intensively dealt with all these aspects throughout the years of working closely together with our commercial enterprise search partners and through implementing enterprise search solutions for our customers in national and international projects. Working with our industrial partners for almost a decade gives us the advantage of having a holistic view on enterprise search and makes us one of the leading enterprise search integrators world-wide.
We are vendor independent and have extensive experience amongst the following technologies:
- Attivio AIE
- Elastic / Elasticsearch
- Exalead one:search, Exalead CloudView
- Google Search Appliance, Google Mini
- HP / Autonomy / Verity / Inktomi / Ultraseek
- IBM Omnifind, IBM Content Analytics
- ISYS Enterprise Server, ISYS Anywhere, ISYS Workgroup, ISYS Workgroup Web
- Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Search, Office 365, Microsoft FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP), FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint
- Oracle / Endeca
- Sinequa Enterprise Search
- Temis Luxid
Enterprise search solutions serve many types of use case scenarios and can be extended to support other solution areas such as digital archiving, where the need to search in the archive and discover electronically stored information for litigation purposes or for compliance becomes more prevalent.