Google Inc. took two more steps Thursday toward becoming as well-known in enterprise search as it is for finding information on the Web.
The Mountain View, Calif., company launched a search appliance aimed at smaller organizations while expanding the types of enterprise data it supports on its higher-end appliances. Googles moves follow promises from its executives last year that it would invest more in enterprise products and expand its offerings for businesses.
Google introduced the Google Mini for use in organizations with up to about 1,000 employees or in departments of larger companies, said Matthew Glotzbach, business product manager for Googles enterprise group.
The Mini can index as many as 50,000 documents and sells for $4,995. Compare that to Googles main enterprise box, the Google Search Appliance. The three models of that appliance support indexes of between 1.5 million and 15 million and start at $32,000.
The Google Mini supports the indexing of Web-enabled content in more than 220 file types. It will only be available for purchase from the online Google Store, where the company also sells namesake T-shirts and lava lamps.
The mainstay Google Search Appliance also gained new features, but ones aimed at large enterprise users. Google announced that it has added support for searching across enterprise relational databases in a software update to the appliance.
With the update, the appliance natively supports databases from Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp., IBM, Sybase Inc. and the open-source vendor MySQL AB, Glotzbach said. Essentially, a database crawler that can find information based on SQL queries will work alongside the existing Web-based crawler in the appliance.
One of the Google appliances enterprise limitations had been that it only searches Web-based content sitting on a Web server and exposed through HTTP interfaces. The addition of database content means it can search across unstructured and structured data and provide users both types of results in a common interface, Glotzbach said.
The Google Search Appliance software update, Version 4.2, also provides an API (application programming interface) to allow administrators to feed data from other enterprise systems, such as legacy content management systems, into the appliances search index.
"We see corporations with large corpuses of information that sit in a legacy system, and its valuable information that theyd like to search but theyve had no way to get the content in a searchable form," Glotzbach said.