Oracle Dives Into 'Google-like' Enterprise Search

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Oracle Secure Enterprise Search 10g, introduced at Oracle OpenWorld Japan on Wednesday, expedites the location and searches of public, private and shared content on intranet Web servers, databases, files on local disks or file servers, IMAP e-mail, document management systems, applications and portals, according to Oracle. It also will return only results a given user is authorized to see.

Plans call for Oracle Secure Enterprise Search 10g to be available in May, a company spokeswoman said. The product can be licensed at $30,000 per CPU or on a per named-user basis.

Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle has long touted its search capabilities, some of which have already surfaced in other products, including its collaboration suite and application server. Both of those products offer what Oracle calls "ultra search." It was unclear if the new search offering builds on that know-how.

"In [Oracle’s] collaboration suite, there is ultra search and connectors that accomplish a federated search of content services, e-mail, calendar and events," said Scott Jenkins, managing partner of The EBS Group, a Lenexa, Kan.-based Oracle partner. But enterprises need more than that, he noted. And a customer using Oracle's portal and collaboration suite must submit two different search queries.

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Jenkins said Oracle’s new search offering will give partners a "Google-like" ability to reach into enterprise information, a quest that has "re-emerged as the No. 1 criterion in almost every enterprise content management deal we're involved in."

Ron Zapar, president of Re-Quest, a Chicago-area Oracle partner, agreed. "This is definitely an area where many customers are looking for a viable solution. We have had several customers ask us about the ability of Oracle Ultra Search to reach outside of the Collab Suite Email/Files repository and Web crawl to access external files systems, mail systems and other unstructured data outside the OCS repository," he said.

Corporate search of critical back-end systems from databases to ERP and supply-chain data is becoming the latest front in the battle of software titans. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has said for months that his company's internal search capabilities already rival Google's and that Microsoft continues to try to best Google on Web search as well.

This story was updated Thursday afternoon with additional partner comment and pricing information.