Google Search Appliance, ISYS:web 8 deliver inclusive search results without grief
Updated versions of popular tools prove enterprise search can be quick, secure, and economic
I performed most of my ISYS:web 8 testing on a Windows 2000 Server because that was the closest environment to Google. I also looked at the companion ISYS:desktop 8 and its enhanced interface.
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ISYS doesn’t have as many connectors to external systems as Vivísimo Velocity or exalead:one. That said, ISYS Version 8 does crawl SQL databases, Web sites, Lotus Notes, and Unix servers, along with WSS and SPS. In the latter case, ISYS respected user permissions, returning only authorized content in searches. It handled XML documents, including RSS feeds, without a hiccup.
ISYS snappily indexed all sources, typically scanning 10GB to 12GB an hour — about 5 percent faster than Google, even though my Windows server was older Dell hardware with two classic 1.8GHz Xeon processors and only 2GB of RAM.
These queries are performed from the ISYS Web site, which runs under Microsoft IIS or the ISYS:web server. For larger installations, ISYS Federator allows users to make a single query against indexes on multiple ISYS:web servers.
In my tests with IIS, search response was subsecond, about the same as Google. I especially liked ISYS’s intuitive AJAX interface, which presents search results in the main left window along with entities to the right. Selecting a category immediately limits the search results, helping you pinpoint relevant content. ISYS:desktop 8’s AJAX interface does the Web site UI one better, with collapsible menus and a built-in search window.
Searching for Answers
I admire ISYS for delivering a highly competitive product. The new version meets the dual requirement of being easy to implement and offering easy customization. I especially liked the on-the-fly categorization, intuitive site and search design tools, excellent search UI, and SharePoint support. ISYS also gets praise for its simple, economical pricing model, which was a large part of ISYS:web 8’s high value score.
Google rightfully benefits from its renowned consumer search, which the Google Search Appliance extends to an organization’s data silos. Whereas ISYS has an SDK, Google’s APIs have attracted more than 100 big-name partners; to me, that support will be the deciding factor in whether Google meets your enterprise search needs.