Sharpening Search Software

New and upgraded search and knowledge management products promise to provide more accurate search results.

New search and knowledge management products from Entopia Inc., Divine Inc. and iPhrase Technologies Inc. are vying for IT managers attention with promises that they will make it easier to organize information and get more accurate search results as a consequence.

Entopia next week will announce version 1.4 of its Quantum knowledge management software. The new version includes tighter integration with e-mail and workflow applications as well as the ability to integrate structured data with unstructured data, such as to populate numerical fields on forms.

New e-mail integration features give users the ability to send or copy messages directly to Quantum folders. Version 1.4 also adds support for Lotus Notes clients and an interface with the Microsoft Outlook task list.

Other new features include an enhanced "Windows-centric" user interface, support for full-text and concept-based searches, as well as synonyms and word-stemming in search. Enhanced version control lets users view the complete history of actions performed on a particular file, according to Entopia officials, in Belmont, Calif.

Quantum 1.4 also has a new feature called "Folder Collect" that allows entire folders, including all subfolders and files from a hard disk or network server, to be integrated into the knowledge base with a single click. This version adds LDAP and Active Directory support for improved user management and security. The directory support also enables closer integration with Microsoft Office applications so that Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents can be created directly from Quantum.

Entopia will also announce next week that it has patented technology in its Knowledge Locator search engine, which generates personalized search results based on a users profile.

The U.S. Navys Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego is using the Web-based version of Quantum as the basis for its Virtual Information Center Technology Open Source Requirements knowledge management product. Hiekeun Ko, engineer and principal investigator at the center, cited the new version for its improved Windows XP interface as well as the new version control features.

"The current version just allows users to read documents and make comments," he said. "Now theyll be able to edit the documents in a shared environment."

Ko also said that Quantum 1.4 does a better job of telling users when content in the system that pertains to their roles in the organization has changed.

Meanwhile, Chicago-based Divine is ramping up its own search technology with the release next week of SinglePoint Search. This new browser-based enterprise search engine features integrated results from corporate databases and the Internet; a taxonomy that can organize information around more than 17,000 subject concepts; automatic classification by the most appropriate subjects and results presentation; and relevance ranking that can take into account multiple search scenarios.

Earlier this week, iPhrase released the latest version of its OneStep natural language search application with improvements in accuracy and scalability, and new reporting features. Version 3.5 of OneStep can deliver results with up to 85 percent relevancy, 95 percent with tuning, according to iPhrase officials, in Cambridge, Mass. This version also can automatically break results down into separate categories for less-specific queries.

This version of the software, which is targeted mainly towards retailers and financial services companies, can handle up to 30 queries per second of a catalog with 50,000 tock keeping units and get sub-second results from intranets with 500,000 documents, officials said.

Other new features include automatic extraction of meaning from new data and documents added to an intranet and new reports that can identify trends in user requests, as well as gaps between user requests and content. The insights gained from these reports can then be used to fine-tune the system, increasing the percentage and relevancy of queries that are answered online. One Step 3.5 can also integrate with third-party reporting and analytics applications.

And earlier this month, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Verity Inc. released version 4.5 of its K2Enterprise, or K2E, search and knowledge management application. New features include more accurate content organization thanks to a system that combines machine learning with domain expertise, pre-built taxonomies from Lexis-Nexis, simultaneous search of two or more taxonomies, a recommendation engine that recognizes an organizations social networks, and improved security.