Oracle joins search for extra-relational data

Following Oracle's announcement of its upcoming Oracle 10g Secure Enterprise Search software, the three market-leading database vendors have articulated enterprise search strategies.

Oracle's new search offering won't be formally available until the end of May, but when it does appear, it'll be crashing an already crowded dance party. Microsoft and Google have both developed search tools for desktop systems (Microsoft has a SharePoint-based enterprise search strategy, too), and much of the legwork of enterprise search has also been tackled by enterprise information integration pure plays, such as Composite Software, which market federated data access solutions.

And then there's the 800-pound gorilla of enterprise search--viz., IBM--whose WebSphere Information Integrator more or less took EII mainstream when it debuted (as DB2 Information Integrator) 3 years ago. Big Blue last year released its WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition, which shipped with significantly improved enterprise search capabilities.

What's more, IBM last summer said it would make its Unstructured Information Management Architecture--which underpins its WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition--available as open-source software. Big Blue positions UIMA as an über-search technology that can parse text within documents and other content sources to discover latent meanings, buried relationships and relevant facts.