Google Updates Search Appliance to Help Companies Find Info Fast

Improvements to the Google Search Appliance include deeper and quicker search of huge databases of business documents and other information.


Google has updated its Google Search Appliance line with refinements that will help businesses find the information they need faster amid their vast stores of corporate data.

The Google Search Appliance update to Version 7.2 was unveiled by Brent VerWeyst, product manager for Google Enterprise Search, in a Feb. 11 post on the Google Enterprise Blog.

"Your company has a wealth of collective knowledge and data, but how quickly can employees or customers find the right information?" wrote VerWeyst. "Google Search Appliance (GSA) gives businesses a simple way to search all their content, no matter where it lives or what format it's in. Today we’re adding new capabilities to GSA with version 7.2, making it even easier to find documents, organize your data and let your team focus on what really matters: getting things done."

The latest GSAs now include more refined entity entry when performing information searches, he wrote. Entity recognition was originally introduced in GSA 7.0 to help businesses categorize unstructured content by extracting entities—which are attributes like date, author and product type—from documents, wrote VerWeyst. "With GSA 7.2, you get a chance to test and tweak your entities before indexing begins. This helps ensure that the entities you choose and apply will work best for your organization's needs."

The latest version will also make it easier for users to find their needed information from a single search box using components called connectors, which link GSA to various data sources and index their contents, he wrote. "In GSA 7.2, we've made the connector framework more scalable and flexible. Customers and partners can develop and improve custom connectors more easily, helping GSA become a truly universal information hub."

Another improvement is that users will now be able to search for partial information and use wildcard characters such as asterisks to pinpoint the data they are seeking, wrote VerWeyst. "Relevant results shouldn't rely on exact queries—especially when you're dealing with long product names or technical data. Say you're searching for part number 3728. With GSA 7.2, instead of struggling to remember the exact part number, you can type in 'part number 37' plus a wildcard character such as an * to execute the query. With wildcard search, you don't have to memorize complicated terms to find what you need."

Also included in GSA 7.2 is a redesigned admin console, improved language support and advanced sorting, according to Google.

Google has been offering its line of data appliances for more than 11 years to help businesses store and search their structured and unstructured data.

In October 2012, Google unveiled its then-new GSA Version 7.0 boxes, which allowed businesses to search content in 500,000 to more than 1 billion documents at once to find specific information. The Version 7.0 devices included myriad new features such as document preview so that users could view thumbnails and flip through full-screen document previews right alongside search results; Google Translate in which secure and automatic translations displayed in search results in more than 60 languages; and a smaller physical footprint to hold more data in a smaller space.

In July 2012, Google announced the demise of its Google Mini enterprise search appliance line due to poor sales.

The Google Mini appliances were originally released to help companies create an effective new search feature for internal use or to help a Web-based company offer a more responsive or more advanced query corner for its audience, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The Minis could index 200,000 and 300,000 documents, costing $6,000 and $9,000, respectively. The original Mini, introduced in 2005, cost $3,000 and could handle up to 100,000 documents.