How enterprise search could suck less

Can you instantly find everything -- at company, departmental, or workgroup scope -- that you're allowed to see? I thought not. Posting information to the public Web is far more likely to guarantee successful search than posting to the intranet. [Full story at]

Would it surprise you to learn that internal search sucks even at some companies whose business is search? It shouldn't. Indexing the public web is, in one sense, a very simple problem. Anything your spider can reach is fair game. Private webs, though tiny by comparison, are far more complex.

The good news is that service orientation can help us make search suck less inside the enterprise. Expanding on what I said in the column, I think there are three reasons why that's so:

  1. Pervasive intermediation. Service fabrics use intermediaries -- aka, internal chokepoints -- to control namespaces, monitor performance, and enforce policies. When these fabrics carry documents that contextualize business processes, as well as the messages that enact those processes, those documents will be more reliably available for indexing and search.
  2. Enriched metadata. When documents are more closely connected to the business processes they contextualize, they're described by metadata that helps organize search results.
  3. Network-based security. When access control is lifted out of applications and placed directly into the fabric, it's easier to figure out who is allowed to find what.

Former URL: