// Commented out mbk Feb 2019 // //
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What's New: Q4 2009

Last Updated Dec 2009

Miles Kehoe

It's been a busy Fall, with a number of interesting announcements and events.

Magic Quadrant: The good, the bad, and the ugly

The good news is that Gartner has released its 2009 Magic Quadrant for Information Access Technology. It's a report that gives vendors bragging rights every year, and provides some guidance to companies interested in acquiring search technology.

The bad news: No vendors seem to have been added - or removed - since last year, and there's little change in the vendor positioning with the exception of ZyLab, which enjoyed a significant move to the northeast.

What has turned ugly is news of a lawsuit against Gartner, brought by ZL Technologies. As reported in ZDNet,  and elaborated on by Tom Foremski at  SiliconValleyWatcher, ZL Technologies makes a number of claims against Gartner and its methodology, and how it favors the big vendors. We’ve long advised people that analysts reports can be helpful, but we caution that most are paid by both vendors and clients, creating at least the illusion of impropriety. Like our friends over at CMS Watch, New Idea Engineering takes no payment from vendors when we create our annual overview if the enterprise search market.

SharePoint Announcements

As you know if you follow us on our Enterprise Search blog or on twitter, Microsoft hosted a sold-out kickoff for SharePoint 2010 in Las Vegas in October. The blast was also the first public showing of the rewrite of FAST ESP to be part of SharePoint, and we were quite impressed with how easy the new administration seems to be.

SharePoint makes it

In the past, we’ve written about how Microsoft seems to consider SharePoint synonymous with search. While I’ll admit the SharePoint 2009 conference was the first SharePoint event we’ve attended, but we were pretty impressed with what SharePoint has evolved into over the last several years. More importantly, others have noticed as well.

The week of the SharePoint conference, Google announced that it is now including a SharePoint connector integrated with the Google Search Appliance, just two years after we first talked about SharePoint and optional external connectors for the GSA. Rather than snubbing SharePoint, as Robert Hiller writes on his blog, we think Google is acknowledging SharePoint has grown into a major player in the content management system market.

Google’s New Capabilities

At the same time that Google announced the SharePoint connector, timed to coincide with the Microsoft SharePoint 2009 conference, they were busy announcing a suite of new capabilities. ‘Self Learning Scorer’ seems to be the one that Google likes most - which, by the way, is now also part of SharePoint Search and FAST Search in SharePoint. We have to tell you, we're still skeptical about relevance being influenced  by user clicks. Still, watch the cool new Google video announcement.

Autonomy’s new SPE

You’ve not doubt seen the big splash about Autonomy’s new product, the Structured Probabilistic Engine, or SPE. Based on the press releases, this sounds like the best thing since SQL, and it does sound like there will be applications that can take advantage of its features. Interestingly, if you search the web for ‘autonomy probabilistic’, you’ll find news of Autonomy’s 2005 acquisition of a company called NCorp. That acquisition was intended to help Autonomy strengthen its position in the ‘structured data market’. It sure sounds like the new SPE is based on technology acquired in 2005… maybe it took that long to tightly integrate with IDOL. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how SPE does in the marketplace.

Autonomy’s New Appliance

Not to be outflanked by yellow boxes, Autonomy has introduced a new digital archiving appliance based on its recent acquisition of Interwoven. The Autonomy Arcpliance, which provides integration with its hosted ‘cloud’ Digital Safe, should enable mid-sized companies to enjoy secure digital archiving for all kinds of data, from email to multimedia, all based on IDOL's broad capabilities. I wonder if anyone has an ‘IDOL Inside’ sticker?