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MarkLogic 4.0 Introduces Stable of New Features for the XML Server
Posted On October 9, 2008
Against the backdrop of a presidential debate and a stock market nose dive, Mark Logic Corp. ( has announced some big—and, thankfully, upbeat—news of its own. The company released the latest version of its flagship XML server, which stores, manages, searches, and delivers digital content. MarkLogic Server 4.0 features a host of intriguing new capabilities including geospatial support, entity enrichment, and alerting capabilities.

The new suite of capabilities in MarkLogic Server 4.0 is designed to further enhance the user experience through sophisticated functionality. "This version of the product is designed to address our customers’ desires to deliver their content in new ways in order to attract new eyeballs to their websites," says John Kreisa, director of product marketing for Mark Logic. "The aim is to enrich content so that users can access it more quickly, and with more context."

The server’s new geospatial capabilities allow organizations to build location-based applications that search and analyze content enhanced with geospatial markup. The server provides built-in support for popular geospatial data tagging formats such as GML, KML, and GeoRSS/Simple, as well as new geospatial query functions for point, radius, box, and polygon constraints. Put into action, the capabilities would allow, for instance, a user to search for news articles about presidential campaign stops within a particular radius or in a specifically defined place, such as a county.

MarkLogic Server 4.0 also brings new entity enrichment capabilities to the table. The server provides built-in support for entity identification and inline markup. The new text-mining feature works in 11 languages and identifies 18 different types of entities, including person, organization, location, credit card number, email address, latitude/longitude, date, and time. In practice, the functionality would allow a user to search for news articles about the presidential campaign that excludes anything written prior to the party conventions. The product also introduces what Mark Logic calls the Open Enrichment Framework, which speeds integration with third-party entity extraction engines and other content enrichment tools.

The third major spoke of MarkLogic 4.0’s new features is large-scale alerting. Alerts can be created according to a wide range of parameters for new or updated content. Notifications can come via the user’s preferred method of delivery, such as email or text messaging. The alerting capabilities are designed to integrate with the geospatial and entity enrichment features to create a cohesive, streamlined experience. A political junkie, for instance, could receive postconvention, home-county, presidential campaign news updates sent to an email inbox every morning.

Additional improvements to the server include enhanced content analytics, including co-occurrence analytics and more faceted navigation; full W3C XQuery 1.0 support; and simplified development and administration.

All of these improvements derive from trends in the marketplace as well as feedback from Mark Logic’s customers. Kreisa says, "We’ve seen a major shift toward information delivery. Organizations have a lot of content. They have a tremendous amount of internal information, and the emphasis has now shifted from the creation of that content to doing more with the content that an organization already has."

IDC Research vice president for search and discovery technologies, Susan Feldman, notes that this upgrade to Mark Logic’s product comes at a time when "knowledge workers struggle to keep up with the overwhelming flood of incoming content" and "organizations are aggressively looking for innovative technologies to improve search and delivery of unstructured and semi-structured data." She sees a standard such as XML as having "the potential to truly change the way information flows based on a user’s role in the task at hand."

Stephen E. Arnold of ArnoldIT, writing on his blog Beyond Search, called Mark Logic "an ocean going vessel amidst smaller boats." In comparison to lesser competitors, "When textual information or data are stored in MarkLogic 4.0, slicing, dicing, reporting, and reshaping information provides solutions, not results lists." Arnold goes on to praise MarkLogic 4.0 for its rapid XML manipulation and for its trailblazing innovations. "With this new release," Arnold writes, "MarkLogic 4.0 raises the bar for XML content processing, repurposing, and access."

Michael LoPresti is the former assistant editor of EContent magazine. He is currently a graduate student and freelance writer living in Syracuse, N.Y.

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