Now for something a bit out of the norm for me...a post about the enterprise search market. I don't know if everyone has noticed, but the enterprise search market has changed dramatically in the last 18 months or so. For example, when Microsoft bought FAST a couple of years ago I expected that they would pull FAST into Microsoft and adjust their business model, and so they have. FAST is much more focused on Sharepoint these days and will over time cease their support of Linux as an operating system. If you're Microsoft this is a pretty reasonable move, as Sharepoint has a massive user base and has historically been weak at search. Unfortunately, this isn't a good thing for FAST's biggest clients who can't realistically migrate to Sharepoint. So, what are these users to do? Well, Autonomy
are the obvious choices, but Autonomy has been moving away from the enterprise search space for the last few years. Endeca has historically focused on eCommerce applications, but now appears to be moving toward enterprise search, though they aren't there yet. So, where does this leave all the companies with massive content search problems? At the moment there doesn't seem to be a clear answer to this one, but as near as I can tell there are 2 candidates vying for the crown; as I alluded to above, one is Endeca. They seem to realize that FAST's acquisition has opened up the high end market, and the other is Lucene/SOLR
which is making noticeable inroads in the enterprise search world. It's too early to tell how all this will play out, but my hope is Endeca makes a full-on play for the high-end enterprise market by continuing to upgrade their core search offering [DISCLOSURE: Endeca is a reseller of Lexalytics software, so we have a vested interest in their success]. In the other corner is Lucene/SOLR, which is a great engine, and is a perfect solution for the companies that are willing to spend the time and money to get a fully customized solution, however until it reaches critical mass there will be those companies that are uncomfortable with it because it's open source. Lucene/SOLR may well overcome this stigma and become the enterprise engine that takes over the high end market, but it'll be a while before we know for sure. I'll keep an eye on it, and post on this topic again in 4 or 5 months and see if the landscape has changed, but for now keep your eyes on Endeca and Lucene.