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Recommind makes tools to help enterprises organize, find and distribute information. Its 3.0 release helps integrators build it into other architectures.

The Recommind 3.0 product family is composed of MindServer, MindServer Categorization and MindServer Retrieval. The MindServer technology crawls and indexes text from sources including document management systems, intranets, Web sites, CRM applications, databases and file systems.

As enterprises begin to drown in the volumes of electronic content generated not only by documents and contracts, but also by e-mail and instant messaging, electronic content management (ECM) has become a critical piece of the software infrastructure. Market research firm Ovum estimates the market is worth $1.54 billion now, while other research firms are projecting it to grow to as much as $9 billion by 2007.

Earlier this month, Interwoven announced OpenDeploy 6, a product that automates ECM and Web content management.

In March, Documentum, the content management division of storage systems maker EMC , acquired/a> the askOnce content integration technology from Xerox.

While vendors battle for market share, Recommind hopes to carve a slightly different niche -- providing a better way to search for content within those management applications.

"Most document management systems are very hard to use. The more documents you put in, the harder it is to find things," said Recommind CEO Robert Tennant. He said that the systems require users to apply tags to the content when it's entered into the system -- but most people either don't bother, or they use incorrect or meaningless tags. "So [ECM systems] can turn into one-way black boxes."

Recommind software works in partnership with document and content management systems, automating the tagging, then making search itself more efficient and intuitive, according to the company.

MindServer Categorization automatically organizes and tags the information to make content easier to find. A graphical administration tool lets users build and manage taxonomies, add new categories and monitor the accuracy of the categorization. MindServer Retrieval can deliver personalized search results arranged into categories to make them easier to understand, as well as deliver recommendations for the most likely results. It can also find relevant results even if the actual keyword isn't on the page.

The new release was designed to make it easer for third parties to OEM the technology into intranets or other products. "It already had a modular architecture, and we changed the API to make it easier to access that," Tennant said. "We've taken some UI functionality and incorporated it into the integration setup, so you don't have to write java script."

Tennant said the 3.0 release will serve as the underpinning for a series of vertical applications. It's already released special versions of the products for legal, offices and media companies.

Tennant hopes to extend MindServer into business intelligence. For example, Bertelsmann is using the product to scan news feeds for mentions of the company or other topics of critical interest. Tennant said what he calls "textual business intelligence" could measure trends in mentions of a particular company or whether press response to a product has been generally favorable.