Browse Definitions:
Definition

enterprise search

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: How to choose manufacturing software for business intelligence

Enterprise search is the organized retrieval of structured and unstructured data within an organization. Properly implemented, enterprise search creates an easily navigated interface for entering, categorizing and retrieving data securely, in compliance with security and data retention regulations. 

The quality of enterprise search results is reliant upon the description of the data by the metadata. Effective metadata for a presentation, for example, should describe what the presentation contains, who it was presented to, and what it might be useful for. Given the right metadata a user should be able to find the presentation through search using relevant keywords.

There are a number of kinds of enterprise search including local installations, hosted versions, and search appliances, sometimes called “search in a box.” Each has relative advantages and disadvantages. Local installations allow customization but require that an organization has the financial or personnel resources to continually maintain and upgrade the investment. Hosted search outsources those functions but requires considerable trust and reliance on an external vendor. Search appliances and cloud search, the least expensive options, may offer no customization at all.

Enterprise search software has increasingly turned to a faceted approach. Faceted search allows all of the data in a system to be reduced to a series of drop down menus, each narrowing down the total number of results, which allows users to narrow a search to gradually finer and finer criteria. The faceted approach improves upon the keyword search many users might think of (the Google model) and the structured browse model (the early Yahoo model). In the case of keyword search, if the end user doesn't enter the correct keyword or if records weren’t added in a way that considers what end users might be looking for, a searcher may struggle to find the data. Similarly, in a browsing model, unless the taxonomies created by the catalogers of an enterprise's information make intuitive sense to an end user, ferreting out the required data will be a challenge. 

Enterprise search is complex. Issues of security, compliance and data classification can generally only be addressed by a trained knowledge retrieval expert. That complexity is further complicated by the complexity of an enterprise itself, with the potential for multiple offices, systems, content types, time zones, data pools and so on. Tying all of those systems together in a way that enables useful information retrieval requires careful preparation and forethought. 

Vendors of enterprise search products include Oracle, SAP, IBM, Google and Microsoft.

See also: enterprise content management (ECM), e-discovery, autoclassification

This was last updated in March 2015

Next Steps

Learn more about Lexmark's Perceptive ECM tools

Should you invest in HP's enterprise content management tools?

Continue Reading About enterprise search

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

I think enterprise search should encompass everything from documents and emails to source code, all textual assets across the enterprise at all locations including those offshore - that's everything from everywhere. An example would be Smart TS XL.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

  • adware

    Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are displayed while a program is running.

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • compact disc (CD)

    A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data ...

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a nonvolatile tier of disk, flash or ...

  • VRAM (video ram)

    VRAM (video RAM) is a reference to any type of random access memory (RAM) used to store image data for a computer display.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close