IBM and Yahoo Offer Free Enterprise Search Software - InformationWeek

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IBM and Yahoo Offer Free Enterprise Search Software

The new search software caters to companies looking to add basic search functionality to intranets and Web sites. IBM OmniFind Yahoo Edition has been designed to install in five minutes, in three clicks or less.

But Forrester Research analyst Matt Brown sees the situation differently. "I think this announcement is going to create headaches for Google Enterprise," says Brown. "Their Mini line of products has been very successful for them.Suddenly here's a downloadable search tool that has the capacity of the Google Search Appliance being given away for free." The IBM/Yahoo software supports up to 500,000 documents per server, the same number as the Google Search Appliance.

Brown acknowledges that there's still a cost of ownership for IBM OmniFind Yahoo Edition, but adds that the servers required to run the software cost only a few hundred dollars, compared to $1995 for a Google Mini and $30,000 for a Google Search Appliance.

For Eric Brierley, CTO of Decision Critical, Inc., an online health information service for hospitals that has been testing the IBM/Yahoo search software, price matters. "We were looking for something that was low cost but still flexible," he says. "Free is a great price point from our perspective."

Installation time was more than five minutes, however. Brierley says the software took about 30 minutes to install, after which four to five hours were needed for customization.

IBM OmniFind Yahoo Edition is based on the open source Lucene indexing library. As Walther sees it, the increasing use of open source search technology by companies is significant. "More and more, we see these kinds of products being commoditized by open source," he says. "Quite frankly, I think you're going to see us [Yahoo] more and more investing in open source to create some of the next generation infrastructure for search and for massive data management, clustering, parallelization and the like."

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