Fast accelerates enterprise data search

Fast Search and Transfer has introduced an expanded search platform designed to provide a single point of access to all...

Fast Search and Transfer has introduced an expanded search platform designed to provide a single point of access to all enterprise information regardless of data format, structure, or location.

Fast ESP offers a modular, Java-based framework that combines data and text mining techniques to find information and make sense of it in the context of the organisation using it, according to John Rueter, vice president of global marketing at Fast.

"On top of [finding] the information, the analysis of the information is what is important. We focus on analysis -- relevancy and query analysis. ESP is a marriage of data mining and text mining."

The primary goal of Fast ESP is to provide a 360-degree view of enterprise information regardless of its location, said Andrew McKay, vice president of technical sales at Fast.

Through J2EE, .net, and HTTP-based connector technology, Fast ESP crawls structured and unstructured data in global databases, corporate intranets, or on the web.

Today, enterprises have pockets of search deployed at the departmental level, which results in a limited view of corporate data, McKay said.

Fast uses its ESP platform to fuel search derivative applications, which are specialised, search-dependent packages deployed to solve specific business problems.

Fast's search applications include Fast Data Search for Site Search, for public-facing websites; Fast Data Search for Compliance, which provides a single access point to documents, transactions, and e-mails relating to a specific subject; Fast Data Search for eCommerce, for online retailers; Fast Data Search for Intranets; and Fast Data Search 360, offering a complete platform for searching databases, intranets and the web.

Yankee Group senior analyst Rob Lancaster said Fast's strategy to deliver a comprehensive platform delivered in the form of packages tailored to business needs is the right approach to enterprise search.

"It impressed me the way they think about the space, the notion of search derivative applications is a great idea," Lancaster said. "As big infrastructure vendors like IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft push into the search space and embed search in their own offerings, broad horizontal search will become a commodity product. So pure-play search vendors like Fast need to leverage their technology."

Cathleen Moore writes for InfoWorld

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