Endeca Technologies, Inc. (www.endeca.com) is aiming for new enterprise search heights with the recent McKinley release of the Endeca Information Access Platform. Invoking the image of the majestic mountain, the highest peak in North America, the company says McKinley is not just a search engine to plug into an enterprise's infrastructure; it's a newly engineered platform that provides a new architecture for building standards-based search applications. The company says it offers improvements in speed, scalability, and simplicity. McKinley boasts a redesigned core data storage architecture that leverages 64-bit memory and multicore processors. The new Endeca platform offers more than 100 new features and improvements since its last major release in April 2007. In conjunction with the announcement, new versions of Endeca's popular search-based solutions-the Endeca Commerce Suite and the Endeca Publishing Suite-were also released on this platform.
"It's been apparent for some time that new information access architectures are a requirement if customers are to get a better handle on their businesses, and Endeca has been one of the vendors at the forefront of developing these," says Sue Feldman, research vice president, Content Technologies Group, IDC. "With the ability to search across more data more quickly, as well as the necessary tools to empower the user, Endeca is making it simpler for every consumer of information to make better and more informed decisions."
The new platform is built for rapid development and maintenance of search applications that offer Endeca's Guided Navigation user experience across the full range of structured and unstructured enterprise data. Because of the core architecture improvements in the platform, developers can deploy applications that are faster and simpler and that can access larger volumes of data.
The company says there are several key elements of the new platform that no other search company offers:
- Massive scalability to address growing volumes of data-With 64-bit memory that scales to tens of millions of records per box, McKinley offers continuous query processes and data updates concurrently with no downtime. Endeca's platform ensures that unscripted searches on data will get subsecond response times and will easily scale to the growing volumes of data.
- Open development environment-Like third-party development for the iPhone, McKinley provides the ability to bind XQuery functionality to web services, which opens the platform up to partners to enhance their offerings by creating their own special "design components."
- Standards-based platform-This eliminates clunky, costly, and time-consuming custom search environments that typify competitive solutions.
Paul Sonderegger, Endeca's chief strategist, says one of the beta customers was the Financial Times (FT) of London's online Newssift service, which recently made its debut. (See the NewsBreak of March 23.) The FT wanted to supply its investor and analyst customers with just the precise information nuggets they needed. The FT built its custom application on top of the McKinley platform. It now handles more than 8,000 feeds and crawls and offers users a Guided Navigation experience, with filtering and sorting options.
John Greenleaf, chief marketing officer, Financial Times Search, Newssift.com, says, "We partnered with Endeca to launch Newssift.com, a revolutionary site that monitors business news and the ever-changing landscape of ideas and opinions, facts, and supposition. Endeca's new platform is the foundation for our robust news site that provides customers with the ability to quickly sift through large amounts of content to make informed business decisions."
The Newssift.com deal is regarded an important win for Endeca, since the FT.com site has long used the search technology from FAST Search and Transfer (now owned by Microsoft) to power the site.
Mike Davis, an analyst with Ovum (www.ovum.com), a Datamonitor company, says, "With this release, and as illustrated by Newssift.com, Endeca's IAP is doing just what businesses need information access technology to do: providing all the information in context and at the right time to enable businesses to make the right decisions. This is a good proposition and very powerful." He also notes that, during the 2 years Endeca has been developing its new platform, "it has not had the potential distraction of consolidation and integration following acquisition of other technologies," as its two main competitors did. "Autonomy has ‘swallowed' both Meridio and Interwoven during the period, and Microsoft has acquired Fast Search and Transfer (FAST)."
Sapient (www.sapient.com), one of Endeca's global systems integrator partners, welcomed the release of McKinley. "Our clients turn to Sapient as a trusted advisor to help them improve business performance and tap into new growth opportunities," said Chris Davey, senior vice president and global ecommerce practice lead, Sapient. "With the launch of Endeca's new platform, we will revolutionize the way we deliver value to our client base, allowing them to maximize the use of their current information systems with minimal incremental investment, but enormous return."
"Endeca and our business partners solve specific high-ROI business problems with lower cost of ownership, faster time-to-results, and greater value than any alternative," said Steve Papa, CEO of Endeca. "More than 250 million end users around the world access information with our solutions. By enabling the unscripted exploration of information, Endeca is facilitating innovation for competitive advantage among more than 600 customers across all industries."
Gabriels Technology Solutions (www.gabriels.net), a private-label ecommerce technology provider, has been working with Endeca to introduce new custom search products for its clients in the media, real estate, and automotive sectors. The same day as the McKinley announcement, Gabriels announced the launch of a new automotive portal product that includes nearly 2 million listings across the U.S.
Michael Gabriel, CEO of Gabriels, says the company has been in business since 1994 and has built portals with The New York Times, Hearst Newspapers, and many others. He says the company decided about 2 years ago to migrate from ASP to .NET, and Endeca's platform has been critical to the creation of Gabriels' current products. With the Guided Navigation component, the company has been able to diversify its offerings and attract larger, new portal opportunities. And Endeca allows Gabriels to deploy smarter, faster, and more-scalable applications-important for the data-intensive nature of Gabriels' apps that use multicore processors. He says, "Endeca listens to their partners-they reach out to gather feedback. We've contributed to some of the decisions for the McKinley release."