Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Month: May 2010 (Page 2 of 2)

Search Engines – Architecture Meets Adoption

Trying to summarize a technology space as varied as that covered in two days at the Search Engines Meeting in Boston, April 26-27, is a challenge and opportunity. Avoiding the challenge of trying to represent the full spectrum, I’ll stick with the opportunity. Telling you that search is everywhere, in every technology we use and has a multitude of cousins and affiliated companion technologies is important.

The Gilbane Group focuses on content technologies. In its early history this included Web content management, document management, and CMS systems for publishers and enterprises. We now track related technologies expanding to areas including standards like DITA and XML, adoption of social tools, plus rapid growth in the drive to localize and globalize content; Gilbane has kept up with these trends.

My area, search and more specifically “enterprise search” or search “behind the firewall,” was added just over three years ago. It seemed logical to give attention to the principal reason for creating, managing and manipulating content, namely finding it. When I pay attention to search engines, I am also thinking about adjoining content technologies. My recent interest is helping readers learn about how technology on both the search side and content management/manipulation side need better context; that means relating the two.

If one theme ran consistently through all the talks at Enterprise Search Meeting, it was the need to define search in relationship to so many other content technologies. The speakers, for the most part, did a fine job of making these connections.

Here are just some snippets:

Bipin Patel CIO of ProQuest, shared the technology challenges of maintaining a 24/7 service while driving improvements to the search usability interface. The goal is to deliver command line search precision to users who do not have the expertise to (or patience) to construct elaborate queries. Balancing the tension between expert searchers (usually librarians) with everyone else who seeks content underscores the importance of human factors. My take-away: underlying algorithms and architecture are worth little if usability is neglected.

Martin Baumgartel spoke on the Theseus project for the semantic search marketplace, a European collaborative initiative. An interesting point for me is their use of SMILA (SeMantic Information Logistics Architecture) from Eclipse. By following some links on the Eclipse site I found this interesting presentation from the International Theseus Convention in 2009. The application of this framework model underscores the interdependency of many semantically related technologies to improve search.

Tamas Doszkocs of the National Library of Medicine told a well-annotated story of the decades of search and content enhancement technologies that are evolving to contribute to semantically richer search experiences. His metaphors in the evolutionary process were fun and spot-on at a very practical level: Libraries as knowledge bases > Librarians as search engines > the Web as the knowledge base > Search engines as librarians > moving toward understanding, content, context, and people to bring us semantic search. A similar presentation is posted on the Web.

David Evans noted that there is currently no rigorous evaluation methodology yet for mobile search but is it very different than what we do with desktop search. One slide that I found most interesting was the Human Language Technologies (HLT) that contribute to a richer mobile search experience, essentially numerous semantic tools. Again, this underscores that the challenges of integrating sophisticated hardware, networking and search engine architectures for mobile search are just a piece of the solution. Adoption will depend on tools that enhance content findability and usability.

Jeff Fried of Microsoft/Fast talked about “social search” and put forth this important theme: that people like to connect to content through other people. He made me recognize how social tools are teaching us that the richness of this experience is a self-reinforcing mechanism toward “the best way to search.” It has lessons for enterprises as they struggle to adopt social tools in mindful ways in tandem with improving search experiences.

Shekhar Pradhan of Docunexus shared this relevant thought about a failure of interface architecture and that is (to paraphrase): the ubiquitous search box fails because it does not demand context or mechanisms for resolving ambiguity. Obviously, this breaks down adoption for enterprise search when it is the only option offered.

Many more talks from this meeting will get rolled up in future reports and blogs.

I want to learn your experiences and observations about semantic search and semantic technologies, as well. Please note that we have posted a brief survey for a short time at: Semantic Technology Survey. If you have any involvement with semantic technologies, please take it.

Open Text Announces Rights Management Services for ECM Suite

Open Text Corporation, a provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, announced Rights Management Services (RMS) for the Open Text ECM Suite designed to safeguard confidential and sensitive information from unauthorized uses even after it leaves the content repository. Though the content may be stored in a secure repository, once users have the right to read a document and save it on their local drives, the content becomes vulnerable. Open Text Rights Management Services lets organizations augment their strategies with protection that remains with the content. Rights Management Services works by enforcing content protection constraints for documents and other content based on rules such as “do not email,” “do not print” or “do not save locally.” The application then encrypts the content and the publishing license together. The content and rights remain encrypted during transport, extending security to wherever the content travels. When a recipient opens rights-protected content, a request goes to a rights management server to validate the user’s credentials and usage rights. Round-trip scenarios are also supported allowing editing and uploading of new versions that retain the rights management constraints. As a shared service in the ECM Suite, Rights Management Services are also available to any content application in the organization. Protection spans Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 applications as well as PDF, HTML, engineering drawing file formats, image files, ZIP, archives among others. Users can also read and protect content viewed on BlackBerry smartphones. The Open Text RMS solution takes advantage of the Active Directory Rights Management Service from Microsoft. Open Text is also partnering with both GigaTrust and Liquid Machines, to add support for specialty content types such as computer-aided design (CAD) files, Visio, Adobe PDF, graphic files, and many other file formats, plus rights management support for documents available via BlackBerry devices. Open Text Rights Management Services for the Open Text ECM Suite is available now. Partner offerings are also available now directly through the partners. http://www.opentext.com http://www.gigatrust.com http://www.liquidmachines.com/

Ask the Analysts about Content Technologies & Strategies

Or collaboration, enterprise social software, search, analytics, market trends, customer engagement strategies, intranet architectures, multi-channel publishing …, or a prediction one of us has previously made that was prescient or presumptuous.

To learn more about the analysts on the panel including links to their blogs and Twitter accounts click on their name below.

K2. Industry Analyst Keynote Debate: Industry Analyst Debate – What’s Real, What’s Hype, and What’s Coming – May 19th 4:00pm – 5pm, Westin Market St, San Francisco

We invite industry analysts from different firms to speak at all our events to make sure our conference attendees hear differing opinions from a wide variety of expert sources. A second, third, or fourth opinion will ensure you don’t make ill-informed decisions about critical content and information technologies or strategies. This session will be a lively, interactive debate guaranteed to be both informative and fun.

Panelists:

Rob Koplowitz, Principal Analyst, Forrester
Hadley Reynolds, Research Director, Search & Digital Marketplace Technologies, IDC
Tony Byrne, Founder, The Real Story Group & CMS Watch
Scott Liewehr, Senior Consultant, Web Content Management, Gilbane Group

How to submit questions:

http://gilbanesf.com

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