AltaVista Upgrades Search Engine

AltaVista Co. on Tuesday introduced version 3.0 of its search engine, which is designed to provide E-commerce sites, information portals, and business-to-business marketplaces with additional search capabilities.

The upgraded search engine offers the ability to search the Web, databases, and more than 200 different files types. It also includes query processing tools, the ability to sort by importance responses to customer queries, support for more than 30 languages, spell checking and correction of misspelled queries, and new Java wizards to modify the search engine.

B-to-B technology provider Ariba Inc. is testing the AltaVista Search Engine 3.0 developers' kit with several customers and plans a full rollout of the software by July, according to Ken Leung, VP of engineering for the Ariba Network.

AltaVista is also targeting information portals such as Factiva, a collaborative venture between Dow Jones and Reuters. The company is using the developers' kit to integrate information from the two parent companies so it can be accessed in a single search.

It also lets the site support many languages. "We have content in 20 different languages," says Dave Weller, chief technology officer of Factiva. "We use it for a lot of extra information. It's a very stable product."

"A lot of times you take an enterprise technology and contort it to work on the Web. Now AltaVista is taking a technology for the Web and directing it towards the client-server or enterprise environment," says Dana Gardner, research director for Internet infrastructure for the Aberdeen Group. "I like the idea that you can go in and search your internal databases, not one at a time, but in groups, probably quite a bit more quickly and easily than your average worker can do with a SQL query."

The AltaVista Search Engine 3.0 is available now for Windows NT, with pricing based on the numbers of documents being indexed.

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