By Timo Selvaraj
For many companies, managing data is a complicated – not to mention expensive – proposition. Throw multiple data sources with varying periodic incremental update schedules, real time streams and architectures into the mix, and we’re talking about an enormous challenge that consumes time and resources.
We created SearchBlox in 2003 with the goal of designing software specifically with these challenges in mind. SearchBlox is an out-of-the-box search and text analytics platform, where installation is simple – just download, index and search/analyze. It also offers a single easy installer package for Searchblox, Elasticsearch and Kibana on Windows, Linux or Mac, so there are no external dependencies required. And if a client is looking to integrate with other websites, tools or applications, that’s covered, too.
SearchBlox seamlessly integrates with sites and apps like Salesforce, WordPress, Liferay and Drupal, to name a few. We’ve helped clients successfully deploy SearchBlox in a wide array of environments including public websites, e-commerce sites, intranets, databases, and real time transactional systems for search and analytics.
We built SearchBlox on top of Elasticsearch because of features like distributed indexes/search and its excellent ability to scale rapidly, among others. RSS data feeds, network file systems, websites, databases, Twitter – there are crawlers for all of these sources (and more) that work straight out of the box, and indexed content can be public or protected and even set on a schedule so searches stay relevant and up to date. SearchBlox allows you to crawl external websites, a great feature that sets us apart in the market, and is a great way to keep content current without having to continually make updates.
Because of Elasticsearch, search is distributed and happens in near-real time. Clients can quickly access data and see it reflected in searches or visualizations. Automatic metadata recognition and extraction is a key feature when dealing with different types of unstructured data. Smart solutions like auto-typeahead and suggestions, along with an intuitive interface makes for a user-friendly, faceted search experience even for clients without any IT expertise. And since we have clients in more than 30 countries, we support 37 different languages. Search results are available from 40+ formats including HTML, Microsoft Office docs, video, audio, image and many others.
End users can also quickly and easily find the information they need, through faceted search and by applying multiple filters.
A few additional search features that allow SearchBlox to stand out: synonym search, stemming customizable stop-words, clustering and concept search. Additionally, we’ve hidden the complexities of managing Elasticsearch indices so clients are able to index and search out of the box, but with flexibility and customization available when necessary.
Beyond accessing data, what really matters to many of our clients is having an easy way to make sense of the data that SearchBlox manages. As with indexing, reporting is in real time and easy to view. Reporting is managed through the web-based console. Real-time, detailed clickstream reporting of user queries helps clients better understand what their users are doing. Reports are then seamlessly analyzed and fed back into the system to continuously deliver more targeted results and improve user experience.
Clients can create, share and embed visualizations for all of their data, as well as track database or log transactions in near-real time. Visualization with Kibana is simple and easy to understand with the indexed fields that SearchBlox creates automatically from the unstructured and structured data.
There are also a variety of visualization options like pie charts, graphs, even single number metrics that let clients see their data come alive, and interpret what it means for their daily business needs.
Clients can even track hashtags, keywords and analyze in real-time on live Twitter streams.
Elasticsearch and Kibana embedded within SearchBlox provide a ready to deploy enterprise search and analytics platform, allowing more than 350 customers in 30 countries to implement and gain business insight instantly. SearchBlox won recognition from KMWorld as a trendsetting product in 2015, and we are proud to be a leader in the marketplace for enterprise search and text analytics.
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