A quick look at the Google Search Appliance
INTRODUCING: Marcello Davalos as my GUEST BLOGGER.
Marcello is a Senior Engineer with Oshyn and a software expert in OOD with .Net and Java. He is a subject matter expert in the CMS integration space.
Google Search Appliance
Google it! The
most popular search engine in the market is now available for internal company
and site use. Google offers the
Google Search Appliance (GSA) and Google Mini as a private search engine solution
for any internal company use.
Let’s start looking what GSA is. It’s a commercial version of the traditional Google search
engine installed in a server running a linux-google version OS black box. This server can be bought from Google
and installed for our companies or clients to be used for an internal search of
the company documentation, company intranet or even as the company public site
The installation is as easy as any that Google could
offer. Once the server is
connected to the network, we only need to configure the network on the server
and it’s ready to run.
Then we access the administration site, usually http://gsa-ip-addres:8000/, and we can
start setting the sites or data bases to crawl. The crawling process may take a while depending on the
number of pages and sites we set the search engine to go over, but once it is
over, we have fast results like we are used to with our traditional Google
service over the internet.
The advantages of GSA are that we can quickly find any
information in our companies and any related documentation that may not be in
the same site. Additionally it’s a
simple interface, which most of us are used to.
Additionally, we can connect GSA with other applications
like .net, java or even CMS, which can send the petitions by http requests and
get the results as xml documents ready to be processed. This functionality simplifies the way
to integrate a search engine for global site search functionality.
There are a few limitations encountered with GSA, and among
those is trying to create functionalities like search suggest. GSA does searches by whole words and
not by partial words like “stu” for “student”. Additionally, it currently only sorts results by the
relevance or by the date it was crawled, so we will have some limitations to
very specific functionalities on the sites.
Overall, Google is a great alternative to offer the power of
a search engine, especially in a CMS where we want to create dynamic content or
search results and which don’t have the support of a traditional data base.
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