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Google beefs up Mini search appliance for SMEs

Google beefs up Mini search appliance for SMEs

Google's Mini search appliance for small and midsize businesses has grown a new set of capabilities for crawling and categorising documents, the company announced in a blog post yesterday.

"Almost all employees store files on shared servers so other employees can access them. The Mini is now able to securely crawl and serve these file shares," says the post by Cyrus Mistry, enterprise product manager.

The revision also introduces document "biasing," the practice of ranking the importance of related or similar pieces of information.

"Many customers have told us that they want to tell us which documents are more valuable within their own companies -- for instance, published marketing collateral is more authoritative than the first draft," Mistry wrote. "Source biasing enables users to give us URL patterns and tell us if they should be weighted higher or lower."

The Mini now also enables users to rank documents based on their age.

Finally, Google has boosted the Mini's international reach, adding support for Basque, Catalan, Galician, Greek, Hungarian, and Polish in its help files and administrative interfaces, according to the blog post.

However, the posting does not list any increase in the product's scalability. It can index up to 300,000 documents, compared to its stablemate, the Google Search Appliance, which is geared for larger enterprises and can handle up to 30 million documents.

The announcement of new features stands in contrast to a recent rumour, reported by TechCrunch, that the company planned to stop selling the product and launch a new hosted search site.

Both IBM and Microsoft offer free, entry-level search products that compete with the Mini. Pricing for the Mini begins at about US$3,000, including two years of support and the necessary hardware.

A Google spokesperson could not immediately be reached for additional comment.


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