Search and information management tools unveiled

Hawking goods designed to equip corporations with tools to search vast data sources and make sense of the findings, KM (knowledge...

Hawking goods designed to equip corporations with tools to search vast data sources and make sense of the findings, KM (knowledge management) and search technology vendors converged in Silicon Valley for the KMWorld 2001 conference.

Celebrating its six-year anniversary at the show, search vendor Northern Light Technology announced an enterprise information portal addition to its online business research library. The Special Edition micro-site features information about portal products and a "Live Queries" function that mines real-time information from newswires and the Web. In addition, the company said it has secured $20m (£13.7m) in financing, led by former Microsoft chief software architect Gregory Whitten.

Also touting search functionality, iPhrase Technologies unveiled a partnership with LexisNexis to bring search capabilities to business information sources. Under the terms of the deal, iPhrase will integrate its natural language search interface into two LexisNexis products: Advertising Red Books and Directory of Corporate Affiliations. The integration is designed to allow business users to post questions in natural language and obtain answers in a format that can be easily integrated into their existing business process, according to iPhrase officials.

Also on hand at the show, Stratify took the wraps off its software products designed to help enterprises harness unstructured information. The Stratify Discovery System and Classification Server form a platform that lets companies transform internal and external unstructured corporate data into accessible information, according to Nimish Mehta, president and chief executive officer.

The Stratify platform is capable of automatically organising millions of documents and displaying them in an easy-to-navigate hierarchy, he said.

The Stratify system can dig into unstructured information sources, which can be valuable for aiding strategic decision-making, he said. "There is a huge value in unstructured information, but you need to put structure around it to get to it," Mehta added.

Aiming to bring context to information, TheBrain Technologies announced its BrainEKP (Enterprise Knowledge Platform) software, which is designed to connect relevant data sources in a method that reflects the way workers think about the information.

According to Harlan Hugh, chief technology officer of TheBrain, the way people work with information on computers is hindered by its presentation in the file folder structure.

"The way people think about information is not based on a hierarchy, but based on a network of associations," Hugh said.

BrainEKP features a collaborative visual interface that displays information and resources as a series of connections, which creates a context for understanding data and the relationships between data sources, according to Hugh.

Semio rolled out a new version of its SemioTagger categorisation engine that extracts key concepts from unstructured data. SemioTagger Version 4.2 features performance enhancements, new Oracle database support, and the ability to trawl data stored by Documentum.

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