Google injects SharePoint features into Search Appliance

Google has released a software update for its search appliance, which lets enterprises search corporate data, and hinted at a full hardware refresh in the future.

Google has updated the software for its Google Search Appliance enterprise hardware, adding SharePoint support and giving the gift of more languages.

Google Search Appliance 7
Google Search Appliance 7 is now available. Image: Google

The launch of Google Search Appliance 7.0 on Tuesday marks 10 years of consistent support for the device, which before the arrival of the Nexus mobile line was Google's hardware pitch. The appliance sits on a business's internal infrastructure and lets them crawl, analyse and index their corporate data using Google's own technology.

With the release, Google has "reinforced our commitment to enterprise search", Erik de Muinck Keizer, head of enterprise search for Google in EMEA, said. "We are very serious about our enterprise organisation."

The device's new capabilities, delivered via a software update for existing customers, allow enterprises to use Google Translate on their documents, as well as preview documents and files alongside search results. In addition, the search appliance can now interface with Microsoft's SharePoint 2010 collaboration suite.

The update will be available in the US from 16 October and will become available in other countries over the ensuing weeks, Keizer said.

He was not able to say how many customers Google has for its appliance, though he did note there are "tens of thousands of implementations". Two appliances can collectively index around one billion files and will probably be sufficient for most organisations, he acknowledged.

The appliance's hardware has remained basically unchanged over the years since its release. However, Google is planning to overhaul this too, according to Keizer.

"It is a pure software update but what we're doing soon from now is we will work with new hardware as well," he said. "The capability of the new [hardware] platform will be better."