Wednesday, April 01, 2009

CIL2009: The Future of Federated Search

Frank Cervone & Jeff Wisniewski -- What's new? Not as much as we would have hoped. It is a pretty immature technology. It is better than nothing, but there is vast room for improvement.

Many more smaller ILS companies are getting in the game:
  • TLC - Indigo
  • Madarin
  • Auto-Graphics - AGent Search
More companies entering the market.

EntropySoft, Inc. -- Materials come in and can be repurposed.
  • Connectors
  • ContentETL -- Schedules transfers between content stores
  • ContentFederation-- Individualized view of data
Specialized search engines:
Moving away from the ability search everything and moving towards federated search "modules". Searching smaller groups of databases. Perhaps more focused.

Epocrates -- Built with Vivisimo Velocity Search Engine. Built on base of 3100 monographs. Federated search ties in external resources. For health professionals. "Help health care workers quickly find details without scrolling through pages of content."

Federated search on the desktop:
  • Introduced in Windows 7
  • Primary basis OpenSearch protocol -- Many search applets usable in other environments.
  • Uses LiveSearch as an intermediary. To translate from other search protocols. (Where they don't have proper connectors.)
What's wrong with federated search?
  • Built on fundamentally old technology
  • Too slow compared to pre-indexed content (or pre-coordinated)
  • Lack of term coordination annoys librarians - but no one else really seems to care...
Their conclusion -- Federated search as a primary technology must die!

Serial Solutions' Summon(TM) -- It's not the be all and end all, but it's better than what we have now. Conceptually it is a good start in the right direction. They believe that other vendors will create similar products.

  • Number of choices from commercial vendors is rapidly shrinking
  • Progress on the standards front. More so on open search.
  • Move towards holistic content discovery
Rich Turner -- Future of Federated Search: A Vendor's Viewpoint

Search technologies drive business

Over 100 companies develop "enterprise search" software

Federated search is a universal problem

More is going to happen "in the cloud". SaaS model is gaining traction.

Significant new search paradigms will drive seemingly radical solutions.

The business of data will change radically

Digital storage companies will splinter

The "locators"
  • Maintain the data -- match data with search techniques
  • Manage the access -- will become subscription and pay-as-you-go
The "federators"
  • Access to data -- including user delivery
  • Individualized access -- serving data to wide range of organizations. Completely cloud-based
Implications for library science:
  • "Background nature" of search
    • Very high user expectations
    • No clear delineation where search is and where it isn't
  • Welcome to the World if IT?
    • Managing, indexing, maintaining data might be outsourced
    • User challenges, expectations remain
    • Tremendous opportunities because paradigms don't yet exist
Stephen Abram -- is federated search growing up? Has it gotten out of kindergarten? Out of third grade?

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