Google launched an upgrade to its Mini search appliance on Tuesday that adds security features, meaning companies can use it to search for both public and private data on their networks.
Previous Mini appliances have lacked security features, said Google's European enterprise director Roberto Solimene, meaning they could be used either to index public-facing websites, or internal intranets and documents, but not both.
"For the Google Mini 2.2 we are removing that limitation," explained Solimene. "Small companies can have the full power of a GSA [the full-sized £15,000 Google Search Appliance] in a Mini. You can now have a secure index, including LDAP and Active directory data, so that even small companies can index information that other users are not supposed to find."
The Google Mini 2.2 uses technology from Google's public search engine, such as OneBox, which on the web allows users to specify the type of data they are looking for; for instance, by typing "flight" before an airline's flight number. "So if I type in 'Invoice number 1234', that is a regular expression that the Mini 2.2 will recognise and will go and speak to Oracle or SAP to retrieve the data," said Solimene.
Instead of indexing data held in enterprise applications, the Google Mini 2.2 talks to them through plug-ins and lets the enterprise application do the search. This means that the number of documents that can be indexed by a Google Mini 2.2 is still limited, at 50,000 to 300,000, depending on the model. Basic set-up is plug-and-play as before, said Solimene, but configuring the enterprise application plug-ins is more involved.
Google Analytics provides statistics about behaviour of users on a website, Solimene explained, including: "Where they come from, where they go, what they do, and their surfing behaviour."
"Optimisation of Google Site Maps means that, if you are using it for indexing your website and you organise your information in a specific way, that will also help the Google main search engine to index your website," Solimene added.
The Google Mini 2.2 is available from Tuesday with prices ranging from £1,295 for a limit of 50,000 documents to £5,995 for 300,000 documents.
Google's Mini search appliance allows companies to use its search technologies in their own organisations