Protected: Enterprise Search vs. Federated Search – an analysis based on content contributors

Posted by Chris Carmichael on August 25, 2008 in Federated Search |

First we need to put up the thesis of the paper.

Then put in the outline/flowchart.

Then a list of research articles and people across campus we need access to or need to be able to talk to.  –ctc



  • Chris Carmichael says:

    To continue with the story… and with full disclosure, I am the “owner” of this blog and a proponent of federated/enterprise search. As you will see, it’s just a matter of semantics. For our purposes, “federated search” is what the academic/library side is looking for. “Enterprise search” involves the business units’ needs. But whether or not we need one tool or two tools is irrelevant if we can’t justify how an enterprise/federated search component fits into the larger IT strategy of the organization.

    Is there a larger IT strategy for this organization? In some cases it appears there is one geared toward providing classroom support/learning management tools. But in another sense, it appears that little “projects” pop up all over and there is no cohesive plan. But I digress. I said there needed to be a justification. I’ll put that in my next post.

  • Mark Andrews says:

    So, in the meantime, the libraries created a committee to look at library, academic, “federated search tools.” If this sounds familiar, its because the search tools that EMC created are functionally similar, but are called “enterprise search tools.” So, there are at least two functionally similar tools sets in the market, but they are aimed different directions.

    * Enterprise search tools (and vendors) include EMC and Google, namely Google’s Enterprise Search Appliance.

    * (Academic) federated search tools (and vendors) include DeepWeb, EBSCO, and Serials Solution.

    I’ve talked to folks at Google about their Enterprise Search Appliance. Is it a good fit for the HSL-LRC’s medical school course lecture archive in Documentum? Notice the conundrum here. We have an enterprise document management system which has been partially re-purposed as an academic information storage & retrieval system, namely an institutional repository. But it doesn’t have search interface suitable for library work. So, do we use an enterprise federated search tool as that “suitable user interface?” In an effort to help other users affordably, can the Google ESA be used as a more-friendly, end-user, search front-end to Documentum, for both academic and administrative users?

    This question can be approached from the academic side, too. Can Serials Solution’s 360 Search be used for both academic and administrative users, for both the full-range of publicly accessible databases (free and licensed), and for administrative users (whose content is not public, and may or may not be accessible to all users even within the University’s administration), and for academic users with academic content that happens to be in an administrative system?

    Are you confused yet? I am.

  • Mark Andrews says:

    On with my story….

    We ported data from Hyperion to Documentum in June 2008, just before we stopped paying for support on the now-defunct Hyperion product. The data port went fine, but we discovered that the web-based ApplicationXtender client was not quite what your average library user was used to searching with. ApplicationXtender-for-the-web has a niche it fills nicely, namely just enough access to a document store for folks who work in an office environment, but don’t need the full, Windows-based client. So, its a tool for student workers or entry-level admin assistants. That doesn’t make it a bad tool – it is what it is and it does what it does. The question is, “How do we provide easy, or at least easier, access to publicly-accessible content in Documentum?

    Well, EMC, the manufacturer of Documentum, has search tools in the Documentum product suite for end-user search. But the question about those tools include scope and cost. The scope question is “What sources are included, indexed and available? And to who? And for how long?” The cost question is “At what cost, initially and on a continuing basis? And who pays, both initially and on a continuing basis?”

  • Mark Andrews says:

    Hi! By way of introduction, I am the Systems Librarian at Creighton. What that means is I keep the computer system the libraries use to run their business working day-to-day. Its not the only computer system the libraries use, but it is the one system where you can find Creighton’s own collection of library materials.

    My interests in search are manifold. In addition to CLIC (Creighton Library Information Catalog, based on a product called Symphony by SirsiDynix), I am the acting project manager for something we call “IKON.” IKON is named after IKON Office Solutions, the company that installed a tiny portion of a “document management suite.” That suite is Documentum, and the piece of it we use is called the ApplicationXtender.

    Our Health Sciences Library – Learning Resource Center created an archive of medical school course lectures. That archive used to be stored and accessed in a “digital library” tool called Hyperion, which was part of SirsiDynix’s Unicorn and Symphony products. SirsiDynix decided to stop developing Hyperion, wo the HSL needed a replacement. More on that replacement after I save my work.

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