IAC, now part of the newly formed Gale Group, a subsidiary of Thomson Business Information (TBI), has announced a major partnership with the Aeneid Corporation that will incorporate Aeneid's Internet research technology into information products that will be jointly developed. The alliance will serve to integrate industry-leading business content from The Gale Group with the Internet information aggregation platform from Aeneid. This marks a move by a traditional database producer to apply its expertise in organizing content to the task of taming the Internet.
Aeneid Corporation announced the availability of the Aeneid Aggregation Platform (formerly known during development as the Internet Research Assistant, or IRA) at the Fall Internet World. For traditional third-party aggregators, Internet portals, commercial search engines, and general and vertical business online media sites, Aeneid provides the ability to integrate Internet content with proprietary data. The Gale Group is the first licensee of Aeneid's platform in the high-tech industry. Under the terms of the agreement, The Gale Group will sell and distribute a Gale Group-branded version of the Aeneid Aggregation Platform and integrate Aeneid's technology into existing Gale Group information products.
Aeneid had been developing the Internet Research Assistant as a separate product for end users, but with the interest of companies like Gale, decided to sell an aggregation package and to join forces with Gale, which shared the same targeted market as Aeneid now wanted to reach. The deal with Gale is not exclusive, but according to company representatives, The Gale Group and the Thomson organizations represent great opportunities for the upstart company and a bring a broad base of editorial expertise and content.
"Licensing Aeneid's platform allows us to combine high-quality, authoritative, proprietary business content with information on the Internet to meet our customers' demands for accessing the most timely and comprehensive information in a Web-based environment," said Bruce Cardinal, president of the corporate division of The Gale Group. "The Aeneid technology makes it easy for us to leverage our expertise in managing information and to offer our customers one place to go for the timely answers they need to conduct business."
The Internet Aggregation Platform is an Internet search tool that helps users collect and format Web-based and database information for sharing, collaboration, and analysis. It provides superior Web search results by allowing for both narrowcast and broadcast searches, by allowing users to eliminate irrelevant results by selecting from pre-defined information domains, and by regularly and frequently crawling Internet information sources that have been identified to have high volatility.
Information providers have two options for disseminating information from the Aeneid Aggregation Platform. The Aeneid Research Environment allows information providers to give their end users a complete research system that automates the daily tasks of business research. It helps end users collect and format Web and database information for sharing, collaboration, and analysis. For information providers who operate high-volume advertising or transaction-driven Web sites, Aeneid Web Components bring industry-focused search and retrieval functionality to new or existing Web information products.
The first stage of the Gale/Aeneid alliance integrates Aeneid technology into ComputerSelect Web, which is a product targeted to IT and MIS departments. The Gale Group is integrating Aeneid's Web Components to provide industry-specific Internet search capabilities to ComputerSelect. The new product, ComputerSelect Web+ (CSWeb+), provides IT and IS managers an easy and accurate way of collecting relevant Web content in addition to the highly focused database information that CSWeb provides. The product will offer on-the-fly comparison tables and hypertext links.
A trial version of CSWeb+ is available now and the product will be available directly from The Gale Group in the fourth quarter of 1998 for Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows 98, and Macintosh clients using Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator 3.x or 4.x versions. It will also be made available for free to current CSWeb users when it becomes generally available.
The companies also announced their first jointly developed product, KnowlegeManager. Carrying the "Powered by Aeneid" logo, KnowledgeManager incorporates the Aeneid Aggregation Platform and Research Environment to automate industry and business-related searches on the Internet. The KnowledgeManager system allows users to collect, store, organize, and share Internet information and premium, proprietary sourcesall from a single Web site.
By focusing only on high-technology information domains, KnowledgeManager delivers high-quality results and eliminates the time spent wading through irrelevant retrieval. KnowledgeManager allows users to save search results, documents, and links in secure project folders. Access to project folders can be granted to allow for workgroup collaboration and sharing of information. CSWeb+ differs from KnowledgeManager in that CSWeb+ lacks a mechanism for saving and managing the retrieval results.
KnowledgeManager provides access to a subset of the CSWeb content and to the content of the IAC InSite products, though company representatives would not specify at this time exactly which InSite products and IAC databases would actually be included. It seems likely that the company will continue to develop and market the InSite products, since they are aimed at a broader end-user market, while KnowledgeManager is at this point geared for the high-tech marketplace.
KnowledgeManager will be available in the fourth quarter of 1998. KnowledgeManager initially will be available for Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT and Internet Explorer 4.0 (version 4.72). Free trials of KnowledgeManager for 30 days are available by signing up on the Web site. Pricing for both Knowledge Manager and CSWeb+ will be based on annual subscriptions per user, but the details are still under discussion.
Aeneid is a privately held company in San Francisco founded in 1996. Its president and co-founder, Daniel Putterman, is an entrepreneur and technology visionary who attended college at age 12. By the time he was 16, he had completed two college programs in computer science and data processing, published a series of programming articles, and written his first book for Microsoft Press. Microsoft is now listed as a technology partner on the Aeneid site. For more information, contact Aeneid at 415/538-8555; http://www.aeneid.com.
For more information about KnowledgeManager and CSWeb+, contact The Gale Group at 800/419-0313; http://www.informationaccess.com.