Information Builders FOCUSes on Google—The Search Is On

Information Builders last month launched its first-ever search tool—WebFOCUS Intelligent Search

As far as Information Builders Inc. (IBI) is concerned, Oracle Corp. is a comparative late-comer to the enterprise search party.

Even before Oracle last month announced its inaugural enterprise search offering, IBI launched its first-ever search tool—WebFOCUS Intelligent Search. Before that, IBI was all but telegraphing its enterprise search strategy. Last September, the privately held BI powerhouse cozied up to Google Inc., enlisting in the search giant’s Google Enterprise Professional program.

And while Oracle and its relational database competitors can make credible cases that—as relational data management specialists—they should be the go-to vendors in the still-coalescing enterprise search space, IBI makes a pretty compelling case, too. That’s because the company’s iWay Software subsidiary is a bona-fide integration powerhouse, with wrappers into hundreds of different applications and data sources. In other words, IBI—via its iWay connectivity assets and WebFOCUS reporting environment—has long had at least the underpinnings of a credible enterprise search offering.

To a large degree, Intelligent Search formally productizes these underpinnings, tapping iWay's integration prowess to connect to structured and unstructured data sources and WebFOCUS’ query strengths to merge and analyze the resultant data. There’s another piece in IBI’s enterprise search puzzle, of course—the search technology itself. In this respect, Intelligent Search is a hybrid offering, drawing on IBI-supplied connectivity and query underpinnings, but tapping a separate best-of-breed search technology—in this case, the Google Search Appliance—to actually spider through data.

With respect to its IBI pedigree, Intelligent Search actually descends from iWay Enterprise Index, a product designed to complement and extend the Google Search Appliance. iWay Enterprise Index—which IBI announced last September—taps into the Babel of enterprise traffic (including B2B, EDI, ERP, flat file, Web services, and other kinds of information) and transforms it into a standard XML-based format, which it then forwards to Google’s über-search appliance. Intelligent Search grafts a user-friendly front-end on top of the iWay Enterprise Index middleware and also proposes to extend Google’s bread-and-butter search capabilities with IBI’s own WebFOCUS tool.

"Google's corporate search solution is revolutionizing how today's business users look for information," said IBI CEO Gerry Cohen, in a statement. “WebFOCUS Intelligent Search adds the BI strength of WebFOCUS and comprehensive integration of iWay to chronicle and refine enterprise search results, providing executives the answers to the questions they didn't even know they had.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.