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September 01, 2011

Table of Contents

Enterprise Search in Europe - A Brief History
KMWorld award nominations now open
Gale Enhances PowerSearch Platform
Web content management: the power of the Joomla community
Text extraction and rendering from ISYS
Managing Office 365 and SharePoint permissions
Geting the Best Out of Your Enterprise Search Investment

Enterprise Search in Europe - A Brief History

After many successful Enterprise Search Summit events in the U.S., Information Today, Inc. (EContent's parent company) is launching Enterprise Search Summit Europe in London, and I am delighted to have been asked to be the conference chair. This is a noteworthy event because in a world where "search" and "Google" are synonymous, it is important to realize the scale of information retrieval research and of the enterprise search business in Europe.

The probable epicenter of this is the University of Cambridge. It was there, in 1972, that Karen Spärck Jones published a paper on the statistical interpretation of term specificity and its applications in retrieval. The significance of this paper was that it proposed the concept of inverse document frequency, or IDF. This concept and subsequent work by Spärck Jones and Stephen Robertson on a relevance weighting model called BM25 lie at the heart of most enterprise search applications to this day.

Move forward a couple of decades and we find Martin Porter working on the development of the Muscat search technology. Porter started to write the Muscat software in the 1980s in BCPL (Basic Combined Programming Language), which was invented in Cambridge as a prerunner to C, although it's obscure today. One of Porter's most important contributions to information retrieval was his stemming algorithm, initially developed in 1979 by Porter, Keith van Rijsbergen, and Robertson. As with IDF and BM25, this algorithm continues to be the basis for stemming words to enhance retrieval relevance. It was around this time that Michael Lynch began work on the Bayesian statistical approach to determining the meaning of documents, which, in 1996, was the basis for founding Autonomy. Before leaving Cambridge, however, it is important to mention the Xapian open source search application, which is based, to a substantial extent, on development work undertaken by Muscat before it was sold to Dialog Corp.

Meanwhile, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, a research team in the Department of Computer and Information Science led by professor Arne Halaas was developing the technology that in 1997 was launched as FAST Search & Transfer. The FAST Search technology was acquired
by Microsoft in early 2008 and has now been incorporated in the FAST Search Server for SharePoint 2010, as well as the stand-alone enterprise search application.

A number of other major search vendors are European in origin. Semaphore Smartlogic is based in the U.K. In France, François Bourdoncle and Patrice Bertin founded Exalead; in 2009 Bourdoncle and Bertin were involved in the development of the Alta Vista search engine. Around the same time, Sinequa was set up, but like Exalead, there was a long period of software development. Neither company really started to make commercial headway until about 2005. Another European enterprise search vendor is the Austrian company Fabasoft with its Mindbreeze application.

For any company operating in Europe, the ability to search for content in multiple languages is important. The concept that international companies can get away with making the corporate language English is just not workable because in most European countries, the definitive language for personnel information, contract documents, legal documents, and compliance filing is the national language of each country in which it is operating. For more than 10 years, the Cross Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF) of the EU has promoted R&D in multilingual information access. It has developed an infrastructure for the testing, tuning, and evaluation of information retrieval systems operating on European languages in both monolingual and cross-language contexts, and it has created test suites of reusable data that can be employed by system developers for benchmarking purposes.

Enterprise Search Europe will be taking the best ideas from the Enterprise Search Summits, but if you are able to come to London in the fall, you will find that the conference aims to be a place at which the enterprise search and information retrieval communities will be able to share ideas and requirements.

Multilingual search will no doubt feature strongly, and it is also likely that there will be more papers about the use of open source search. Within a few hours of the conference being announced in early April, paper submissions started to arrive in my inbox. I suspect that the greatest challenge the organizers will face will be finding a place for all the best submissions in a 2-day conference.

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KMWorld award nominations now open

We believe knowledge management is much more an attitude than an application, and for the past 10 years we’ve celebrated the potential of delivering the right information to the right people at the right time. through our awards program. The nomination forms are now live.

KM Promise

Many companies promise that their technology is the best knowledge management solution. One of the greatest challenges for organizations purchasing these technologies is to determine which companies will deliver on that promise. This award is given to the organization that is delivering the promise to its customers by providing innovative technology solutions for implementing and integrating knowledge management practices into their business processes.

The award-winning organization demonstrates how it goes beyond simply delivering technology to working with clients to ensure that both the technology and knowledge processes are embedded into the work processes. In other words, it helps organizations realize positive business results.

KM Reality

In many organizations, knowledge management is just rhetoric. This award recognizes an organization in which knowledge management is a positive reality. The recipient of the KM Reality award is an organization demonstrating leadership in the implementation of knowledge management practices and processes by realizing measurable business benefits. The knowledge management program will have:

  • been in place for a minimum of one year,
  • demonstrated senior management support, and
  • defined metrics in place to evaluate the program and its impact on organizational goals.

Finalists for both awards will be featured in the November/December issue of KMWorld magazine, and the winners will be announced live at the KMWorld Conference, Nov. 1 to 3, 2011, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the conference and to submit an entry, visit the KMWorld Conference site.

The strict, inflexible deadline for submissions is September 1, 2011.

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Gale Enhances PowerSearch Platform

Gale, part of Cengage Learning announced enhancements to the Gale PowerSearch platform, which offers cross-searching of periodical content, reference content, primary source information, multimedia, and ebooks. The new features include search assist, enhanced results lists, language customizability, expanded content ,and enhanced subject and publication search options, designed to make the search and discovery process more efficient.

The features were added based on user feedback from focus groups made up of librarians, students, teachers, and library patrons. Gale PowerSearch provides libraries, universities, schools and businesses with a single interface to search for resources. The service will continue to support existing features. Enhancements to Gale's Academic OneFile, General OneFile, InfoTrac and PowerSearch are available to both new and existing customers.


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Web content management: the power of the Joomla community

With a reported 2.7 percent of the Web running on the open source Joomla platform, its community placed a large emphasis on making the CMS installation process as simple as possible its the latest version, 1.7.

Features include:

One-click version updating--Update a site to the latest stable Joomla release with a single click.

Six-month release cycle--A shorter development cycle will enhance Joomla’s stability by providing more core feature development and adoption.

Multilanguage improvements--Administrators can associate menu items in different languages for faster navigation, and language packs can now be built to automatically select the best font for that language for the administrative back end. The community also highlights the following capabilities:

  • ability to create a search menu option to generate a menu item that pre-fills out the search fields so users can have a built-in search for a specific phrase,
  • better example code for different plug-in types,
  • ability to automatically validate form data against a list of options during the save operation,
  • “submit article form” automatically sets the article category, and
  • batch processing (copy and move) of articles is now available in the same way as it is for categories and menu items.

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Text extraction and rendering from ISYS

ISYS Search Software has released Document Filters 10.0, the latest version of its well-respected text extraction and rendering solution.

ISYS reports Document Filters 10.0 provides customers with several key enhancements in text extraction and rendering, including:

  • comprehensive enterprise file and e-mail format support, plus archives and containers;
  • “Deep Inspection” technology designed to reveal previously hidden content (such as tracked changes);
  • extensive platform coverage (including Mac OS);
  • full coverage of character sets and encodings (including Unicode);
  • high text extraction speeds;
  • flexibility to enhance pre-existing open source solutions; and
  • seamless and secure migration.

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Managing Office 365 and SharePoint permissions

MetaVis Technologies has announced Security Manager for SharePoint and Office 365, which, MetaVis explains, has been engineered to allow users to analyze and manage security permissions, groups/users and levels across multiple on-premise or hosted SharePoint site collections and farms. The new offering allows administrators to see and manage what a user has access to and who can access specific sites across SharePoint 2010, 2007 or Office 365, including hybrid environments.

Security Manager deploys in just a few minutes, says MetaVis, and takes full advantage of standard SharePoint APIs, eliminating the need for custom server-side controls, SQL Server access or elevated privileges.

MetaVis claims Security Manager makes it possible for users to:

  • manage permissions by making it easy for administrators to set up, delete, transfer, duplicate and enforce SharePoint permissions across multiple sites or farms quickly;
  • reduce SharePoint administration costs by allowing administrators to quickly administer security and permission policies across sites, folders or lists in bulk;
  • simplify SharePoint Management by providing complete control over security permissions even at the item level;
  • maintain compliance standards by allowing administrators to compare permission levels to discover potential compliance problems and address them immediately; and
  • improve SharePoint visibility with detailed reports focused on security.

Built on MetaVis Information Architecture Platform, Security Manager operates seamlessly with the MetaVis family of products for SharePoint migration, design, change management and classification. Security Manager supports SharePoint 2010, 2007, BPOS and Office 365.

A free trial download will be available on Aug. 11.

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Geting the Best Out of Your Enterprise Search Investment

Welcome to Enterprise Search Europe - the first ever conference in Europe to focus specifically on the technologies and implementation of enterprise search. This inaugural event will play host to speakers not just from Europe but also from North America and Australia –providing an international perspective on the benefits and challenges of enterprise search implementation.

Enterprise Search Europe

24 & 25 October 2011

Hilton London Olympia

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