Google adds corporate flavour into Mini Search Appliance

Mini 2.2 has secure search features, integrates with Google Analytics

Google has upgraded the Mini version of its Search Appliance with new security, analytic and other features designed to bring corporate features to small businesses.

The company's Mini 2.2 , targeted at small and midsize companies and departments within larger companies, features secure search features so users get to see only what they are authorised to see. It also integrates with Google Analytics, supports the Google OneBox feature for specialised searches such as tracking numbers, searching based on a range of numbers or set of data, and has support for 16 languages.

The Mini 2.2 also supports Google Sitemaps Export so users can alert Google to the most important pages that exist on their website so the content can be more effectively searched.

“These are enterprise-class features that previously were only available on the Google Search Appliance,” says Kevin Gough, enterprise product manager. “We are trying to bring it inside the firewall because we have realised that even the smallest businesses need effective corporate network search.”

Google, which has built its reputation as the leader in internet search, is finding competition from all corners, including the enterprise market, as major vendors such as IBM, Microsoft and others build search capabilities into their infrastructure platforms.

To support secure search, Google has upgraded the Mini with support for Windows NT LAN Manager (NTLM)1.0 and 2.0, and HTTP Basic as well as provided integration with Microsoft Active Directory and directories that support the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.

The Mini is able to authenticate users and authorise them to view certain documents based on rules and roles a company has already established. The Mini uses the secure search feature to filter returned results based on a user's privileges before passing those results to the user.

“Based on the explosion of information even in small businesses we recognise they need these features as much as anyone,” says Gough.

The Mini OneBox feature taps into technology that Google has used for years on its consumer search engine that provides specialised results when users type in package tracking numbers, addresses or keywords such as “weather” and “define.” Google has nearly 60 such specialised search modules integrated into Google.com.

In addition, Google’s Enterprise Developer program and its API set encourage developers to write modules that will link applications with the OneBox search features.

Through integration with partners Cisco, Cognos, Employease, NetSuite, Oracle, SalesForce.com and SAS, Google enables users to now point the search engine at those back-end systems and return information at the top of their search results.

Google Analytics lets administrators of the Mini view what queries users are entering and what actions they are taking when they click on the search results.

Google is offering four versions of the Mini starting with an edition that supports up to 50,000 documents for US$2,000. The other versions support 100,000, 200,000 and 300,000 documents and are priced at US$3,000, US$6,000 and US$9,000, respectively.

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