Google Search Appliance Gets New Analysis Tool, Universal Log-in

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-10-22

Google enhanced its Google Search Appliance enterprise search box with some new features Oct. 20, including an analysis tool that looks at employee behavior to improve results.

No need for the creepy meter to go to 10. Created to help support the GSA(n) architecture the company launched with Google Search Appliance 6.0 in June, the Self-Learning Scorer analyzes the clicks and behavior of users searching an intranet, then improves the relevance for later searches.

"For instance, if most users click on the fourth result for a given query, the GSA recognizes that and automatically boosts its placement-without any intervention from an administrator," wrote Cyrus Mistry, product manager for Google Enterprise Search. "More relevant search results mean more employees utilizing the tools of their trade."

When internal search results improve, IT administrators can focus on more important tasks, while employees will search more and find more information with which to do their work.

That's good for the workers and for Google, which is trying to make its enterprise search  reliable, relevant and valuable for workers hunting down content from human resource repositories and other nooks and crannies in a corporate intranet.

The scorer, detailed in this video demo along with other features, complements Google's Google's existing biasing features and Ranking Framework for boosting relevance.

The GSA software also features a new universal log-in tool that synchronizes user credentials with any of the back-end systems in a company. Employees need only log in once to search across their companies' systems. This is a useful upgrade because businesses of a certain size may have several "single sign-on" systems.

The GSA also now has native integration for SharePoint out of the box, speeding up the rate at which SharePoint collaboration content is indexed.

It also now connects with IBM Lotus Notes, the second-largest business e-mail platform behind Microsoft Office Outlook. There is also greater support for file shares-CIFS (Common Internet File System), DFS, NFS (Network File System)-and databases, and a broader connectors program in Enterprise Labs.

"Getting IT admins away from the tuning knobs and back to their real jobs will be a major benefit to our customers. More importantly, it will make employees across the company more productive," Mistry wrote.

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