Gartner Research

A Complex Query: What's the Right Enterprise Search Engine?

Published: 18 May 2012

ID: G00229364

Analyst(s): Darin Stewart


With companies generating and consuming masses of digital content, finding the right content is more important than ever. Enterprise search is central to that effort. However, different business processes (for example, finding the appropriate product on a retail website versus locating the relevant research paper) require different search technologies. In this overview, Gartner describes the interplay between needs and technologies that enterprises must understand if they are to select the appropriate tool.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Three Key Questions
    • What Is Search?
    • Why Is Search So Difficult?
    • What Makes Search "Good"?
  • Four Major Search Types
    • Application
    • Enterprise
    • Web
    • Desktop
  • Three Search Modes
    • Shortcutting
    • Wandering
    • Navigating
    • Furthermore, the Three Search Modes Intertwingle
  • Market Analysis
    • Three Delivery Mechanisms
    • Multiple Search Applications
    • Five Vendor Segments
    • Future Trends
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Focus on Solving the Business Problem
  • Clarify Requirements Through Personas
  • Beware the One-Size-Fits-All Solution
  • Investigate Architecture as Much as Features
  • Run a Bake-Off Using the Enterprise's Data
  • Budget for Care and Feeding of the Search Solution
  • Foster Search Literacy Through Training
  • Prepare for Search Expectation Creep

The Details

  • Terms
  • Search History
  • Categorization History
  • Engine Architectures
    • Keywords
    • SQL
    • Clustering Architectures
    • Utilities to Improve Precision, Ranking and Recall
    • Paying Attention to the User: Increasing Relevance and Usability
    • Standards

Recommended Reading

Additional Reading


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