Veritys Ultraseek Hones Web Searches

Version 5.2 delivers improved application integration, scans site links

Verity Inc. has continued to make slow-and-steady improvements to its Ultraseek search product—the recent release of Version 5.2 is only the second new edition since Verity acquired Ultraseek from Inktomi Corp. in 2002 and integrated it with Veritys existing search technologies.

Although the new features in Version 5.2 arent flashy, they represent welcome improvements, especially when it comes to integrating with Web services and other enterprise applications.

Along with the improved integration options, Ultraseek 5.2 makes it easier to upgrade from previous Verity Information Server installations and makes it possible to scan site links hidden in scripts.

Although it probably isnt enough to woo customers from competing systems, eWEEK Labs found Ultraseek 5.2, which shipped last month, to be a worthwhile, easy-to-deploy upgrade for companies already using Verity search products and those looking to make their first move into enterprise search. Ultraseek 5.2 runs on Linux, Solaris and Windows servers and is priced starting at $6,000. The final cost depends on the number of pages being indexed.

The new Web services support in Ultraseek is essentially a Simple Object Access Protocol service built directly into the application. The operations we could call from this service made it possible to carry out authentication, provide information on search collections, submit altered queries, submit sites to be scanned into a collection and, of course, perform searches.

All operations are also described in a provided Web Services Description Language file on the server, which made it very easy to add these capabilities to the Web services we were building.

Version 5.2s new index JavaScript feature enables search scans to follow links within JavaScript code in a Web page, which can lead to relevant pages or images. This feature is on by default, but we could turn it off within the management interface.

Ultraseek provides a very intuitive, detailed browser-based administration interface from which we could carry out numerous management tasks, from setting up and monitoring search crawls to defining filters to accessing reports on queries and results. We liked the Quick Links feature, which made it possible to specify the most relevant page result for queries using specific keywords, but wed like the option of having more than one page appear as a Quick Link in results.

In tests, the results provided by Ultraseek were relevant, and the user aids provided were handy. The latter include suggested spelling corrections, suggested queries when searches provide no results and a way for users to group search results by Web site. Ultraseek 5.2 can highlight search terms in results that are linked to documents in popular office formats.

Ultraseeks Java API aids developers who need detailed integration with the search server. Verity add-on modules make it possible to directly provide searches as a portlet to portals from BEA Systems Inc., IBM, TIBCO Software Inc. and Vignette Corp.

Installation of Ultraseek is quick and simple, and a new wizard makes it easy to import information from previous Verity installations.

eWEEK Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at