Google hinted its interest in the Enterprise world through Google Apps. Google Search Appliance (GSA) is one such initiative, to bring what Google does best to the Enterprise world – SEARCH.
Google claims to search upto 10 million documents, through the familiar Google search interface. GSA uses the core Google search technology and can search against a variety of sources like – Intranet, applications, wikis, file management systems, CMS, databases etc.
GSA works by creating a master index of documents, by crawling resources. This will be used by the Google search engine to find and retrieve information. Also GSA has security constraints, that can filter sensitive data, based on the user privileges. Various security mechanisms like NTLM, SAML SPI, Windows Integrated Authentication can be employed with GSA. Also, GSA claims to crawl through 220 file types, that include common file types like HTML, PDF, DOC, XML, Excel, etc.
At Database level, GSA supports and works with all popular Enterprise data storage systems – Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, Sybase etc. Using the Content Connector Framework, GSA can hook up with – EMC Documentum, IBM Filenet, OpenText Livelink and Microsoft Sharepoint, for enterprise data. Another key is that the search results from varied sources are presented in a unified manner – very much similar to Google Web search.
Also, GSA can provide a good platform for a Data Warehousing or Data Mining applications. By developing suitable layers over GSA, DW reporting and analysis must be an easy task for the enterprise application developers.
Overall, I found this really interesting and a prospective step, in the right direction!