Rodney Gedda is the former deputy editor of CIO and former editor of Techworld.
The Open Search Server project has released a new developer preview, including a new screenshot feature that captures screenshots of the Web pages being crawled, similar to the preview feature of a big name public search engine.
Open Search Server can crawl file systems, databases and websites and its range of supported document formats is quite expansive.
It’s written in Java, licenced under the GPL, and uses the popular Apache Lucene search software.
I won’t hazard a guess as to how much information (business and personal) is stored but not searchable, let along integrated by a single application.
And, understandably, there are an increasing number of in-house commercial and Cloud search products and services available to tie all this information together.
But is it prudent information management to rely on a third-party something like search? I’d be hedging my bets a little.
Why open search software?
In the age of “let’s leave everything to the Cloud” computing, the ability to search and retrieve local documents will become more strategic.
Sure organisations could use a Cloud search service for their intranets and private documents, but by doing so they develop a heavy reliance on a third-party, not to mention the security implications.
At the very least running an open source search service within the enterprise provides a second option for information retrieval, even if it’s used as a fallback from a Cloud service.
If for whatever reason your Cloud service is unavailable or you attempt to transition to another provider, you ability to access you own information is jeopardised.
Open search means open access to information.
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