Tuning Up a Search Engine

Inktomi takes aim at enterprise-Level XML translation, content management for online Exchanges

Inktomi Corp., the company best known for its search engine software, is expanding its footprint in new directions.

The Foster City, Calif., software company this summer will overhaul its search engine software for enterprise-level XML (Extensible Markup Language) translation—a move that will rebuild Inktomis content management and other applications for structured and unstructured data searches in online exchange environments.

The XML architecture will increase the finesse with which exchange users can conduct searches using online catalogs, company officials said.

A user of Ariba Inc. exchange software who spent the past year trying to extract simple functionality like catalog searching for his companys e-commerce site said the timing couldnt be better. Even after a year of customization, John Crossno hasnt been able to perform simple search functions—something thats crucial in an exchange environment.

"With the basic search functionality you cant search," said Crossno, CEO of Agito Inc., a Dallas-based exchange. "Weve had a years worth of work with them to evolve their software."

Inktomi isnt looking forward only to the new architecture. Earlier this month, at the Internet World trade show here, the company announced enhancements to the Inktomi Search/Web service that will provide customers with more comprehensive search results.

The company has added relevance, classification and ranking capabilities; content blending, which combines query results from disparate databases; and a distributed crawling architecture that scans the Web more frequently, officials said.

In addition, Inktomi is working with content providers to help them manage their content better; control how often their sites are crawled; and ensure that Inktomis database of Web documents is current, including pages that have XML or dynamic HTML content, officials said.

Prices for Inktomi Search/Web, available now, range up to $20 for each URL to be indexed.

Other search-engine-related announcements at Internet World included the following:

HiSoftware Inc., of Concord, N.H., released Hi-Search, a metadata-only search engine, and Metadata Server to help companies automatically label Microsoft Corp. Office and Web documents with descriptive metadata tags for enhanced search results.

Metadata Server allows companies to implement a metadata policy and embed or update files with metadata at the folder, computer or enterprise level, officials said.

Hi-Search and Metadata Server are both available now; pricing starts at $2,995 each.

Mondosoft Inc., a search engine company in New York, introduced MondoSearch Version 4.1, which lets users of large Web sites and intranets see search results in predefined categories and in 12 languages.

MondoSearch presents search results in customizable categories by relevance, language and file data type, with icons identifying the media, format and language of the file, company officials said.

New features in Version 4.1, due next month, include full support for intranets and enterprise portals and indexing and searching of PDF files.