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EMC Enlists InStream Search

Storage and enterprise content management (ECM) vendor EMC will sport a new search engine under its Documentum hood, officials from Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) announced Monday.

FAST replaces Verity as the search engine used in EMC's upcoming Documentum releases, which is the company's first win in the ECM market, according to officials.

FAST will integrate an OEM version of its InStream enterprise search engine into EMC's Documentum 5.3 platform. InStream performs XML-based application search and contextual navigation on a wide range of platforms, from ECM to customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning.

The partnership expands FAST's relationship with EMC, which already uses the FAST InStream engine in its Centera storage application, called Centera Seek.

Ali Riaz, FAST COO and CFO, credits his company's technology for the EMC win, and said FAST InStream is a natural fit for companies looking for an OEM tool to fit in their products.

"The idea is to create a very modular platform that people can use," he said. "So obviously, it's a big decision for someone like Documentum to say, 'We had Verity, and in future versions we're going to have somebody else,' and we're happy to meet it."

The software, he said, also scales very well to meet the additional requirements for companies that store, manage and find a growing amount of content created by employees every day.

"It's like lots of trees -- it's that much harder to find that one tree," he said, "and what we do exceptionally well is our scalability and performance in a very large index."

Officials at EMC were not available at press time to comment on the company's decision to move away from Verity, but in a statement they pointed to the InStream engine's query performance and indexing capabilities as reasons for the new arrangement.

"Given our customers' high-content throughput and often complex scalability requirements, the Documentum platform requires powerful yet flexible enterprise search functionality that can adapt to their changing content management needs," Rob Tarkoff, EMC software senior vice president of business development, said in a statement.

Riaz declined to comment when asked whether there are plans to expand the company's reach inside EMC past the Centera and Documentum partnerships. He did say, though, that he's happy to have a presence in two of EMC's more strategic offerings -- storage and ECM. That doesn't mean he doesn't hope for more down the road.

"As [EMC's] needs grow and as they see how our technology can fit into their additional areas, we would be delighted."