Oracle Answers IBM With New Search Software


Oracle today unveiled Secure Enterprise Search 10g, a new standalone product
designed to help enterprise customers find specific information without
compromising corporate security.


The software, which costs $30,000 per server CPU, lets users search databases,
applications, files, content repositories, HTTP servers, e-mails and
portals.


The product’s browser-based user interfaces allow users to do traditional
keyword searches that provide results in a format similar to conventional
Web searches. This helps minimize training and support costs associated with
learning a special enterprise search system.


The caveat is that users can’t just look at any information; they can only
look at information they are authorized to see. The idea is to protect
important assets at a time when compliance rules call for constrained data
access in corporations.


Secure Enterprise Search 10g permits such protected search with
sophisticated algorithms and a high level of security, said Sandeepan
Banerjee, director of product management for objects and extensibility at
Oracle.


To do this, Banerjee said that when the search tool accesses private or
shared content, it gathers access control information. The product keeps
this information along with the search index and tucks them away in an
Oracle database.


“We have done a lot of work to use the privileged context to improve the
relevance of search results,” Banerjee said. “Typically, users want an
excellent experience where they can see all the information that they’ve
found doing Internet searches, but with Web security and the specific
business context.”


The executive said the product, created from technology Oracle has been slow
roasting over the last 15 years, demonstrates the company’s strength in
information management.


Secure Enterprise Search 10g also already has a customer, University of
Tokyo, which is using the software to create its portal site.


Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is expected to discuss this relationship at Oracle
OpenWorld Tokyo today.


Oracle will need products like the new Secure Enterprise Search 10g,
Database 10g and then some to combat IBM in the information management
arena.


Some analysts believe that IBM leads the space, thanks to the glut of
acquisitions it’s made over the last few years.


Two weeks ago, IBM showed the fruits of its enterprise search efforts, with
the Content Discovery Server.


This piece of high-powered search software employs technology from the
vendor’s 2005 purchase of iPhrase to help workers in commerce, contact
centers, self service and case resolution find the right information.


As a prelude to that announcement, IBM also unveiled
a new, $1 billion investment in information management for the next three
years.

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