The Village View

Monday, September 11, 2006

SAP announces enterprise search

UPDATE: Check out the tips from my colleagues Andrew & Craig in the comments on how to download Enterprise Search. Thanks guys!

At TechEd today SAP announced its enterprise search product. Described as:

a new application that allows information workers to easily locate and leverage critical business data from internal and external sources

I've heard the term information worker used internally to refer to "knowledge workers" many of whom aren't accessing SAP today. Usually they have to go thru a 3rd person e.g., a power user to get information in/out of the system. Search is a way to get these users access to SAP. I've hear this internally "enterprise search makes SAP instantly useable for everbody."

The cool thing about this search product is that in addition to giving you just search results, it gives you what SAP is calling "business context." For the rest of us this means you can take actions on the results. For example, if you do a search on all your customers in Manhattan, you get the customer master record. From here you can go ahead and enter a transaction; for example, enter an opportunity. You can also access Business Intelligence functionality from the results.

Another thing to note is that the search is not purely text-based, but rather takes into account the SAP data schema as well as the user's permissions and roles. Not all information will be accesible to all users.

The product can be federated with different search engines as well different backends (so you can search your Oracle/Siebel apps for example). Additionally, the search algorythms are extensible.

There's a trial version that is availale as of today (Can't find the link on SDN!!!!!), with a production version in 2007.


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