Google Search Appliance now indexes Apps suite

The new functionality broadens the scope of Google's enterprise search device

The Google Search Appliance, an enterprise search device loaded with Google search software, is now able to crawl, index, and retrieve data stored in the company's Apps hosted collaboration and communication suite.

The new capability is made possible by a component called Cloud Connect, which also links the Search Appliance to public websites, like the popular microblogging service Twitter, Google said Monday.

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Being able to tap into a company's Google Apps data broadens the Search Appliance's scope, which already includes on-premise applications, document management tools, databases, Web servers, intranets and files.

The Search Appliance is intended for use by employees, clients, and partners that a company grants access to. Search Appliance customers will receive this new capability in the form of a free software upgrade for their devices.

Other enhancements include the ability to find people related to a query so that users can locate peers who are experts on a specific field.

In addition, the Search Appliance now lets administrators set up parameters for filtering search results according to certain metadata modifiers, something Google calls "dynamic navigation." Also, this upgrade adds native capability to crawl and index data in Microsoft SharePoint 2010.

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