IBM, Yahoo update free enterprise search tool

New version of IBM OmniFind Yahoo Edition

IBM has unveiled a new release of the search software it developed with Yahoo and distributes without charge. The updated engine can help users better customize and personalize searches for information stored within their companies and on the Web, IBM said.

The new version of IBM OmniFind Yahoo Edition allows users to separate content into searchable document collections, and includes an improved administration console for easing setup and management of the search tool, IBM said. The updated engine also uses the latest open-source Lucene indexing library.

The new version also offers improved performance, indexing and custom field searches; and it supports additional browsers, according to IBM.

Because the OmniFind update supports the creation of a number of collections -- each indexing a different set of documents -- people who use it can limit searches to documents from a specific source, which would provide more accurate results.

In addition, the new release allows users to define additional custom fields in the index so that field values can be mapped from the HTML meta tags, extracted from the document's own metadata or pushed in from an API. Therefore, a user can search for a specific country by specifying a custom country metadata field as part of a search request, IBM said.

IBM and Yahoo launched the first version of the OmniFind engine last December. At that time, analysts noted that this was IBM's way of taking aim at the lower end of the market, where Google Inc. has focused its Mini search device. IBM said that nearly 25,000 users have downloaded the free tool since the launch.

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