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Thunderstone Releases Version 20

January 16, 2018
Thunderstone Releases Version 20

New features include

Rank Bias
Parametric profiles gain new capabilities to set a bias on a per document field using data from field rules.  This allow documents to be biased up or down in the search results, for example PDF results could be biased down, or documents with "Important" in a meta tag could be ranked higher.

Improvements

Content Repositories
Azure Blob Storage support was added for crawling content stored in Azure Blobs.
File Share Robustness
Network shares are remounted if needed at the start of a crawl.
Audit Logging
The ability to log all setting modifications was added to aid with auditing setting changes.
Other fixes
Miscellaneous other bug fixes and enhancements to the crawl and search interfaces.  See the announcement on the message board for full details.

Availability

Search Appliance Version 20 is available to all Search Appliance and Parametric Search Appliance customers who have a current maintenance plan by following the menu System / System Setup / Update Software.

Webinator Version 20 is available to all Webinator customers who have a current maintenance plan by contacting Thunderstone.

For 36 years Thunderstone Software has been dedicated to providing the best search solutions possible to government, corporate, and non-profit customers, with exceptional service and devotion to finding the right solution for the customer.

For further information call +1 216-820-2200, visit www.thunderstone.com.

 

Thunderstone Releases Version 19

August 7, 2017
Thunderstone Releases Version 19

New features include

Entity Recognition
Parametric profiles gain new capabilities to extract information from document text. Now even documents with no metadata can contribute terms to faceted navigation, via entity recognition. For example, a list of terms, e.g. cities or manufacturers, can be defined for extraction and then searched or grouped by. Or a regular expression can be crafted to match a specific pattern of data — e.g. a defined syntax for part or social security numbers. And the XML syntax for such entities is largely compatible with GSA syntax, making upgrading a snap.

Improvements

Dashboard Statisitics
Several new statistics have been added to help monitor activity, including the search rate, fetch rate, and document growth rate so you can identify problems that may arise in the future.
Unmount Shares
Network shares can now be unmounted without removing the settings.
XSS Protection fix
Browsers may have warned on the settings page about possible XSS problems.  There was no vulnerability in the appliance, and the settings were updated correctly, however now the XSS warnings no longer are triggered.
Other fixes
Miscellaneous other bug fixes and enhancements to the crawl and search interfaces including result counts and some REX expression handling.  See the announcement on the message board for full details.

Availability

Search Appliance Version 19 is available to all Search Appliance and Parametric Search Appliance customers who have a current maintenance plan by following the menu System / System Setup / Update Software.

Webinator Version 19 is available to all Webinator customers who have a current maintenance plan by contacting Thunderstone.

For 36 years Thunderstone Software has been dedicated to providing the best search solutions possible to government, corporate, and non-profit customers, with exceptional service and devotion to finding the right solution for the customer.

For further information call +1 216-820-2200, visit www.thunderstone.com.

 

Find a Google Search Appliance Replacement Before It’s Too Late

March 31, 2017
Find a Google Search Appliance Replacement Before It’s Too Late

It’s been over a year since Google announced that they were discontinuing their Search Appliance product, with license renewals officially ending in 2018. While Google Search Appliance is on the way out, there are still many businesses that rely on it for their search. If you’re with a company or organization that does, you should probably start seriously thinking about other options.

Depending on your contract, you only have one or two years of service left. While that sounds like plenty of time, it can fly by when you get wrapped up in work and leave you scrambling to find a proper Google Search Appliance replacement.

It's Time to Replace Google Search Appliance

Have you ever had to scramble to find a gift for someone at the last second? Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. You don’t want to have hope that a last-minute search appliance decision is going to pan out for your site.

The simple truth is that the more time you have to find a Google Search Appliance alternative, the better choice you can make. You’ll be able to take a stock of what capabilities you need to find in a replacement and do a comprehensive search of your available options. Extra time will also allow you to do test runs of potential Google Search Appliance replacements so you get hands-on experience before you decide.

Time also allows you to reevaluate what you want to get out of your search appliance solution. There may have been elements of Google Search Appliance that you didn’t like, or features you wish it had. Your search for a Google Search Appliance replacement can help you find options that can better fit your needs instead of just mirroring what Search Appliance did.

A Google Search Appliance Replacement Alternative Through Thunderstone

If you’re looking to move on from Google Search Appliance, Thunderstone can help. We provide search technology that can help you fill the Google Search Appliance-shaped hole in your site. In fact, we can do better than just replace it.

We offer solutions like our Thunderstone Search Appliance and Parametric Search Appliance for professionals in need of a straightforward drop-in replacement. Our Webinator search engine software and Texis enterprise search options can provide more complex solutions based on needs, allowing you to invest in a search solution that checks all the boxes on your wish list.

To find out what solution makes sense for your needs, it’s best to talk to an expert. Contact us online or give us a call at 216-820-2200 to learn more about how we can help you replace Google Search Appliance before goes out for good.

Why Switching to Free Google Site Search is a Bad Idea for Business

March 14, 2017
Why Switching to Free Google Site Search is a Bad Idea for Business

When Google announced that their site search product would be completely discontinued by April 1, 2017, the news put a lot of businesses in a bind. Now businesses with Google Site Search will have until the end of their license to decide to switch to Google’s free replacement option – Google Custom Search – or make the switch to a different site search product.

The easy switch to free Google Custom Search may be tempting, but there are serious drawbacks that may hurt your business or organization. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t opt for Google’s free version of site search.

Google Custom Search Has Ads

Google Custom Search is free for a reason. This free site search is funded by the appearance of ads. This is a major problem.

The point of a site search is to allow your users to find relevant information on your site. Google Custom Search can do that, but not before it shows your users a bunch of related ads first. For example, we did a search for “seminars” on a site with Google Custom Search. Look at the results.

Image of results from Google Custom Search, a free site search with ads.

The first thing that pops up are links for seminars. The problem is that they’re all for seminars on competitor sites. That’s the last thing you want your users to see.

Thanks to ads, your users are essentially searching your site and the rest of the internet as well. In this case, the competitor ads even pushed the rest of the results down far enough that your users would have to scroll down to see them. That’s if they haven’t left your site by now to spend their money with your competitors.

We must note that you can make money off the appearance of these ads. However, will it ever be enough to cover the cost of a potential lost customer. Probably not.

You’re at Google’s Mercy

In addition to the issues with ads, you also have little control over how the rest of your search results. Google’s search solutions use the Google algorithm to provide the results that you and your users see. That may not seem like an issue at first, but it might mean that you aren’t getting the best search results possible.

While Google uses its own algorithm, other site search engines allow for customization. This allows you to configure what is crawled and how its crawled. This can provide a better searching experience for your users instead of settling on whatever Google wants to give you.

No Tech Support

With Google Site Search, you could contact Google’s tech support for help in case you had any issues or questions. Free Google Custom Search doesn’t offer tech support, so if you run into any problems, you’re going to be on your own to figure them out.

Time to Find a Google Site Search Replacement

Whether you’re on the fence about Google Custom Search or are considering another option, the truth is that time is ticking. Google Site Search will completely shut down April 1, 2018 and it’s important to do your research on your options. You’ve spent plenty of hard work on your site, so you need to find a site search engine that will work the way you want, look the way you want, and keep your users on your site.

At Thunderstone, we can help you replace Google Site Search with a search solution designed for your specific needs. Contact us online or give us a call at 216-820-2200 to learn more about how we can help your site today.

A Solution to Google Search Appliance Being Discontinued

February 11, 2016
A Solution to Google Search Appliance Being Discontinued

Google recently announced that it was discontinuing the hardware Google Search Appliance (GSA) as a product. This development leaves some end users wondering about search appliance solutions in the future, much like when the Google Mini was discontinued three years ago. Fortunately, the Thunderstone Search Appliance can help companies and organizations looking to replace existing Google Search Appliances once support ends.

Replacing Google Search Appliance with Thunderstone

Thunderstone has had a singular focus on helping organizations use search technology to improve their productivity and solve their unique business problems for over 36 years. For us, search is a tool that can help you with your objectives, not a vehicle to serve ads, add on more complex products, or force your data into the cloud (although if you want your data in the cloud we are happy to help).

When you choose someone to work with to meet your search requirements you are looking for someone who understands search and integrates new technology into search, but is not going to suddenly change focus based on today's buzzwords.

We work in a way that's best for you, not what's easiest for us, or what sounds “cool” today. You are also looking for a partner that understands your unique challenges. You are not a cookie cutter business, and your solutions should not be either. We have worked in many industries solving a variety of challenges, and have the flexibility and experience to understand how to provide the most value to your organization.

A Better Search Appliance

Image of Thunderstone Search Appliance, an alternative to the discontinued Google Search Appliance.

When you choose Thunderstone, you get more than just a search appliance. We offer a perpetual license with ongoing support to provide your organization the value you need. Unlike Google search appliance, we're not going anywhere. Our proven support and product capabilities have already earned us the appreciation of our current clients:

"Our decision to buy and deploy three Thunderstone Search Appliances saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars in development costs." — Kevin J. Payne, Director of System Applications, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
"[A] huge Thunderstone fan... we had a 'search' for a while for a replacement for the unbelievably [high] priced Google Search Appliance, and found you guys, and haven't looked back since." — David Pagini, Voya Investment Management

Upgrade to Thunderstone Search Appliance

If you're looking for a new search appliance solution or need to find a replacement for an old Google search appliance, contact us online or give us a call at 216-820-2200 for more information about upgrading to Thunderstone.

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