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AltaVista Keys on Corporate Users with New Apps

Search engine specialist AltaVista Co. Tuesday unveiled new software primed to help companies find data in 30 languages and over 200 file formats, no matter where it is stored within the company's network.

Stacked on the strength of its 3.0 search architecture, the new software comes in two shades to simplify searching for specific data within mid-sized companies, government organizations, among others: AV Enterprise Search, which appeals to employees inside the corporate firewall by enabling them to find information wherever it resides within company servers; and AV Personal Search, a desktop application that provides speedy search results from content on local hard drives.

As is the case with any search software, both new forms were designed to improve the efficiencies of search efforts within a company. AltaVista software can index data in diverse file formats from multiple sources, including enterprise data repositories, personal computing devices, Web and corporate intranet pages, as well as unstructured text in advanced enterprise software.

Because most corporate info is stored in an unstructured format, such as e-mail, word processing or presentation files, data maintained by these layered enterprise applications can be difficult for employees to locate and access information in because it typically resides on a divisional server, desktop or other device. AltaVista contends these issues are addressed because the Enterprise Search and Personal Search will save employees time.

However, despite AltaVista's good intentions it should be noted that the software has been viewed by some experts as a threat to employees privacy. As reported by the Associated Press, a privacy expert said it could lower employee morale by making it easier to find personal e-mails and other sensitive materials stored on hard drives. The software also could raise legal issues and create new security headaches. In defense of its new technology, AltaVista said businesses will be able adjust the software so areas of an office's computing systems are untouchable.

In addition to the new apps, AltaVista has created the Enterprise Search Architecture to be an open platform with Java API to allow the incorporation of future AltaVista products, as well as technology from third party companies. To support bundling within enterprise computing platforms, AltaVista Search Software has also recently agreed to joint working relationships with ATG, Compaq, EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Corp., Open Market, Oracle and Vignette.