Fast Search hails content processing, linguistics combo

European search vendor Fast Search & Transfer ASA on Tuesday introduced Fast Data Search 3.0, a modular application suite that blends real-time search capabilities with a filter and alert engine.

The combination of search and filtering is designed to provide dynamic content processing, advanced linguistics, and simplified integration with a line of business applications, according to company officials in Oslo.

Specifically, search and filtering lets users simultaneously search existing data and receive information that matches predefined queries or user profiles, according to officials.

Built for large Internet and enterprise environments, Fast Data Search 3.0 retrieves structured and unstructured data and conducts parametric searches within databases and XML (Extensible Markup Language) feeds, according to Bjorn Olstad, general manager and executive vice president of Fast Search & Transfer's Enterprise Business Unit.

"Enterprises have to deal with a lot of real-time data. We can go into databases with millions of items that are changing constantly and search for the most relevant content," he said.

In addition, Fast Data Search 3.0 contains content relevance technology, which is designed to interpret the intent of a query. The system taps natural language processing to handle query misspellings and computational linguistics modules for retrieving information independent of language, according to Olstad.

"Relevance is trying to match the intent of the user behind the query, and then matching that with content provider's intent," he said.

According to analyst Avi Rappoport, principal consultant at Search Tools Consulting, in Berkeley, California, the biggest benefit of Fast Data Search is its flexibility, which is necessary to fit the needs of large, information-centric corporations.

"This is for large enterprises that have a lot of information and need strong tools -- companies that can't just throw a spider at it and solve the search problem," she said. "These companies have high scalability needs and need search tools that can integrate with internal corporate applications."

Version 3.0 also includes APIs for integration with applications such as ERP, CRM, and portals as well as interfaces to J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and .Net environments.

"With document APIs, interfaces to J2EE and .Net it is easy to integrate [the product] into Web services and application server environments," he said.

Furthermore, Fast Data Search 3.0 can take hot spots of indexes and publish them to Web services, Web search applications, or directories, Olstad said.

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