Elastic puts 'semantic code search' into stack with Insight.io

Elastic is joining forces with Insight.io, a Palo Alto-based startup developing search tools that claim to provide a ‘semantic understanding’ of software source code.

Known for its Elasticsearch and Elastic Stack products, Elastic insists that Insight.io’s technology is ‘highly complementary’ to other Elastic use cases and solutions — indeed, Insight.io is built on the Elastic Stack.

Insight.io provides an interface to search and navigate the source code that is said to ‘go beyond’ simple free text search

Current programming language support includes C/C++, Java, Scala, Ruby, Python and PHP.

This ‘beyond text search’ function gives developers the ability to search for code pertaining to specific application functionality and dependencies.

Essentially it provides IDE-like code intelligence features such as cross-reference, class hierarchy and semantic understanding.

The impact of such functionality should stretch beyond exploratory question-and-answer utility, for example, enabling more efficient onboarding for new team members and reducing duplication of work for existing teams as they scale.

Elastic founder and chief executive officer Shay Banon explains that initial technical integration of Insight.io technology will follow a similar path to other recent Elastic acquisitions such as Opbeat and Prelert, with a focus on creating a scalable single purpose server for the new code search functionality.

“Insight.io’s IDE-like user interface will be released as an official Kibana app, with the full solution then included into the standard distribution of the Elastic Stack,” said Banon.

On the operational side, Elastic will be welcoming all Insight.io’s employees into its development team.

“We founded Insight.io to create a tool that would enable code development efficiency and insight for the millions of developers building new applications,” said Chongzhe Li, co-founder of Insight.io. “A few years ago, we decided to build our product on top of the Elastic Stack because it allowed us to build the best product for our users.”

Co-founded by Fuyao Zhao, Chongzhe Li, and Mengwei Ding, based in Palo Alto, CA, Insight.io also has an engineering team based in Beijing, giving Elastic its first formal development team in China.

Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine.

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