Lotus debuts Notes search tool

The IBM subsidiary announces a new search tool that boosts Lotus Notes and Domino information gathering and storing resources.

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IBM subsidiary Lotus Development today announced a new search tool that boosts Lotus Notes and Domino information gathering and storing resources, the company said.

Scheduled to ship this week, Domino Extended Search enables distributed searches across Notes domains, enterprise and relational data stores, and the Internet from a single point of access, the company said.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based software company is touting the new product as an embodiment of its new overarching knowledge management strategy.

Giga Group analyst Bridget Regan said the new tool is only a first step towards providing a complete knowledge management package, "because it only addresses searching structured information stores." She said broader search capabilities will debut as part of Notes/Domino release 5.0, due out next month.

Gerry Murray, an analyst with International Data Corporation, agrees with Regan, and said the new searching tool is not a "bellwether" knowledge management tool, but "a foundation for building one on in the future."

Lotus and its parent, IBM, have embarked on an effort to provide a system for corporations to transform information from various sources--the Web, back-office applications, databases--into client applications for making business decisions. The companies say they are trying to help companies with the Notes/Domino architecture to maximize their investment in the area of knowledge management.

Executives said the Domino Extended Search tool fits into this strategy because it allows customers to build business applications based on the Domino platform that can research various sources of information and identify and retrieve specific data.

"This is part of a series of knowledge management add-ons for Domino," said product manager of Extended Search and the emerging product groups, Santosh Chitakki.

Most of the company's Notes and Domino customers are in industries that are implementing knowledge management systems at a fast rate, such as finance, manufacturing, professional services, and retail, Lotus said.

The new search engine is priced at $3,995 for a server with one to four processors, or $9,995 for a server with five or more processors, including a client access license fee of $30.

The Extended Search Link of the product connects the tool to information stored in Notes databases, commercial content offerings, search engines, and the NotesPump connector for back-end enterprise or relational databases.