Whilst its major rivals in enterprise search are working through the integration issues of their acquisitions, Endeca has been both upgrading its core search platform and creating vertical search-driven applications. Potentially more important in the long term, the new platform provides a robust infrastructure for the emerging requirements for semantic search.
The release is more than just a clever name
The 25th President of the United States, William McKinley, regarded himself as the advance agent of prosperity, and 102 years after his inauguration the McKinley release of Endecas Information Access Platform (IAP) is hoping to do the same for businesses that deploy it.
The new version of Endecas MDEX engine within the platform has been developed to utilise 64-bit technology, multi-core chips and parallelisation, with the result that it is reportedly able to cope with 50100 per cent more data, and provide realtime updating.
Furthermore, the engine now has an API based on the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), an out-of-the-box web service for queries and, importantly in integration and development terms, a standards-based XQuery framework.
Endeca is pushing its customers and partners to develop what it describes as search-driven applications on IAP. To illustrate this it has provided two pre-bulit/optimised suites, one for commerce the other for publishing, both of which include a PageBuilder tool which enables rapid and highly granular customisation of websites.
A change in IT focus
In Ovums opinion, Endeca is one of the top three vendors of enterprise information access technologies, the other two being Autonomy and Microsoft. Unlike its rivals, Endeca is privately held and in the last two years, whilst it has been developing the new MDEX engine, it has not had the potential distraction of consolidation and integration following acquisition of other technologies Autonomy has swallowed both Meridio and Interwoven during the period, and Microsoft has acquired Fast Search and Transfer (FAST).
Being privately held also means that Endeca can exploit close relationships with its investors. For example, the $15 million investment it received from Intel in January 2008 not only gave the company cash but, just as importantly, access to processors that are still in development for testing the IAP ahead of other search engine vendors.
Supporting its development of the McKinley release, Endeca argues that in the last 20 years IT has been used to optimise and automate business processes for example, in the use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. However, the productivity gains have not given organisations long-term competitive advantage because rivals have implemented the same technologies and it has become a zero-sum game.
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