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Oracle Challenges Google With New Enterprise Search Engine

Oracle followed Google into the enterprise search arena Wednesday, offering a search engine it says can ferret out information buried in E-mail, corporate documents, and even mainframe applications.

Oracle Secure Enterprise Search 10g is aimed at making information easily accessible across the corporation, while honoring restrictions based on an employee's role within a company, says Greg Crider, Oracle senior director of product marketing.

Google announced last month that it had teamed up with IT consulting firm BearingPoint to supply enterprise search. BearingPoint has experience in extending Google to provide search services to specific industries. One of the issues of enterprise search is gearing search engines to "crawl" through all the possible data sources at a company and index their contents.

Oracle says its search engine can log the contents of any standard relational database system, not only its own database. It can likewise crawl through file systems and the databases that underlie ERP and CRM applications, such as those from Siebel Systems, J. D. Edwards, PeopleSoft, Oracle, or even SAP. The search engine is geared to present data from the application's database in the same context that the application would present it. Searching for data on a particular customer, for example, might result in the most recent purchase appearing in the context of the purchase-order management application, Crider says.

Crider acknowledges that SAP customers would have to customize the Oracle search engine to allow it to reach the innards of SAP application data. Oracle provides a toolkit, Secure SDK, to extend the search engine for such purposes.

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