What are the requirements for an enterprise search?

Enterprises produce vast amounts of content and enterprise search helps to find the content. What are the requirements for an enterprise search?

Enterprise content comes in different document types which are required to be traced back to a specific date as well as stored securely. Furthermore, the enterprises need to distribute the content to the right people – whether enterprise employees or customers of the enterprise.

Enterprise content management (ECM) has processes and methods which it uses to organize the enterprise content. While ECM takes care of organizing and distributing the content, the right users should find the relevant content. Enterprise search falls under the umbrella of ECM. It renders the enterprise content searchable and makes finding the content a breeze.

When we consider what kind of content enterprises produce and how they manage the content, we can determine what capabilities enterprise search should have. We found the following set of requirements an enterprise search should meet.

The capability to crawl and index

  • Multiple domains
  • Enterprise content behind a firewall or login
  • Multiple document types (PDFs, Microsoft Office documents)

The capability to filter search results

  • Using date ranges
  • Based on relevant categories
  • Based on document types
  • With combining filters (faceted search)

In this article, we will discuss whether AddSearch meets the requirements of an enterprise search as part of ECM.

 

Crawling and indexing

As mentioned enterprise search should have the capability to crawl and index enterprise content from multiple domains that may be located behind a firewall or a login. The crawler should also be capable of crawling different document types which can be traced back to a specific date.

Multiple domains

In most cases, enterprise content is scattered across multiple domains. Enterprise search needs to be able to crawl and index these domains to provide a single access point to return relevant search results in a uniform fashion. Federated search is another term for crawling and indexing multiple domains with a single access point (search box).

Based on our earlier post on federated search enterprises have an increasing amount of content in SaaS platforms. For instance, the enterprises may have a blog at WordPress.com, FAQs in Zendesk and products may be sold at e-commerce platform such as Shopify.

AddSearch supports crawling and indexing multiple domains. Setting up a domain for crawling and indexing is a reasonably easy and can be done straight from the dashboard. For instructions, please visit our documentation.

Content behind a firewall

In many cases, enterprise servers are protected with a firewall to block unwanted traffic. The chances in these cases are that also AddSearch’s bot is blocked from entering the site.

AddSearch provides a list of IP-numbers that you can add to your servers firewall settings for whitelisting AddSearch’s bot. For a list of the IP numbers please visit the list.

Content behind a login

A great portion of enterprise content is behind a login which is understandable as business critical information may be best kept in secret. Having said this, finding the authorized content within the enterprise is important – especially for an enterprise search which should be useful within the enterprise as well.

AddSearch supports crawling and indexing enterprise content behind a login. To keep the business critical information safe AddSearch also allows filtering the access to the authorized content. Excluding content altogether is also possible with AddSearch’s site areas tool.

Our team will set up the crawler for indexing authorized content. Please contact our support to have the crawler settings implemented.

AddSearch, a powerful enterprise search

Get an enterprise search with the capabilities you would expect – and more!

Document types

Enterprises produce content that comes in different document types. Microsoft Office documents and PDFs are the most popular document types and finding them with an enterprise search is crucial.

AddSearch supports the crawling and indexing of PDFs as well as Microsoft Word and Powerpoint documents. Setting up the crawling of documents type feature is straightforward. You can follow these instructions for setting up the document types feature. If you want more information, please check out our previous post about document types.

Filtering

Enterprise search should also be capable of filtering the search results to be relevant for specific users. Filters should also be able to be based on date ranges, domains, subdomains and relevant sections of the website as well as document types. Also, the filters should allow mixing filters to create a faceted search where the user can narrow down the search with multiple filters.

Date ranges

Enterprises produce documents that are traceable to a specific date. Enterprise search should be capable of filtering search results to a specific date or a date range to narrow down the search results.

Filtering the search results to a date range is handy when you wish to locate documents that, for instance, originate from a meeting held in the summer of 2018. To locate the documents that were created in summer 2018 you would create a filter that would include all documents between the 1st of July and the 31st of August 2018.

AddSearch supports range filters which allow the inclusion of search results that are located in between dates. For more information please visit the documentation.

Relevant categories

As enterprises have departments that produce content that is useful specifically to the people at the departments, enterprise search should be capable of filtering relevant content to the right people.

For instance, an enterprise may have specific content for IT, sales, HR as well as for their customers. Having the opportunity to narrow down the search results to the right people makes finding the content easier.

AddSearch collects category information when it crawls and indexes web pages. Category information in this context refers to domains, subdomains, and paths. You can use this information as a basis when setting up filters.

Category filters allow setting up searches that return search results from a specific area (category) that may be relevant to certain people. For more information please visit the documentation.

Faceted search

A single filter may narrow down the number of relevant search results significantly. Combining filters to narrow down the search results even further makes finding relevant content a breeze. Faceted search is another term for narrowing down the search results with multiple filters.

For example, if an employee of the HR-department wants to find a CV in a PDF document type from an applicant who applied for work on January 2017 she can use the following filters to narrow down the search.

  • Applicants name as the search term
  • PDF document type
  • Date range from 1st to 28th of February

AddSearch supports faceted search and implements it with dynamic category filters. Dynamic category filters allow the user to choose the filters with which to narrow down the search. For more information please visit our documentation.

Conclusions

The benefit of a good enterprise search is to support enterprise content management. It makes enterprise content searchable and easy to find.

AddSearch has the capability to index enterprise content by crawling from multiple domains whether the content is locked behind a firewall or a login. AddSearch can also filter the search results so that people can find the content that is relevant to them.