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KMW2006 – Exalead

Nov - 1 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

Just a quick post on Exalead – who provided us with breakfast this morning. Exalead is Europe based search engine (and enterprise search vendor) that is making it’s way over here to the U.S. They pride themselves on having one focus – search. Unlike the other popular search products out there that have spread themselves over many different areas.

As librarians we know the answer to this question – but we were asked “Why does search matter?” The answers: The explosive growth of data has made it impossible to find anything without search capabilities and this need to find information is critial to doing business – and doing business efficiently. Exalead wants to make search easier (sounds like Intellext’s Watson – are we sensing a theme here?) – not just for the user, but for the content manager and the IT staff.

The demo we saw of Exalead (the enterprise solution) in action seems to match the way a lot of search tools seem to be headed. In addition to the list of search results you have a left column full of filtering options like language, file size, file type, author, and source. It also offers a desktop search functionality that lets you choose to search the web and your PC at the same time – or any other combination of available options.

The thing I liked the most was they way the combined results appears (see my pictures) next to each result it would read “My PC” or “Web” to make it clear where the result was coming from. Pretty nifty little search – and like I said something we’re seeing more and more of – especially in our library catalogs (like the one I mentioned the other day).

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One Response so far.

  1. [...] Steve showed us some examples of search engines. He started with Exalead with I wrote about earlier. While Exalead is impressive and offers amazing filtering options – Steve feels it’s too overwhelming for the average searcher – it’s too complicated and too much is going on on the screen. I guess I’m just optimistic in thinking that people would learn to use and when they had they wouldn’t want to use anything without filtering options. [...]


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