The idea for SchemaLogic, Inc. was born when its founders, former Microsoft employees, saw the need to bring all of the company’s information resources under the umbrella of a single, unified search structure. It seems fitting that in 2008 SchemaLogic found itself on the forefront of the information management field thanks to the late-2007 release of the SchemaLogic Connector for Microsoft SharePoint 2007. By making its metadata management tools easily deployable across multiple SharePoint sites, SchemaLogic is positioned to capitalize on SharePoint’s success in the enterprise market.
According to SchemaLogic’s CEO and president Jeff Dirks, that’s exactly where SchemaLogic needs to be. "Launching the integration was a significant milestone, because it opened a huge set of opportunities," says Dirks. "If you look at how SharePoint is proliferating across major enterprises, this has been very much a way for us to align with that. Today, we’re very focused on the adoption wave that SharePoint represents."
Cross-system connection has always been one of SchemaLogic’s key tenets. Whether it was in different platforms, classification structures, or departments’ information management systems, all that content needed to be organized under a unified metadata model while maintaining the flexibility all the different individuals demanded. To make all of these elements work together demands a high degree of flexibility, according to Dirks—not just in how the system operates but in how it’s designed. "It’s not good enough to have a static model. We provide a governance framework that’s very easy to deal with, and to semantically deal with, as industries and companies change."
Part of that solution has included a semantic-based search model for its flagship SchemaLogic Enterprise Suite. It combines employee-updated tags with semantically sensitive metadata to map unstructured content and return more relevant results based on query language. "Semantic modeling systems like ours have to be able to manage not just the hierarchy of words, but the relationships between them," Dirks explains. SchemaLogic solicits employees’ input and deploys a language-mapping algorithm to craft custom taxonomies for each of its clients. "Every organization that we deploy [within] has a common model of information that describes their products, their services, their geographies," says Dirks. "Our solution allows people to take these various models and describe those other pieces of information, and share that information across other platforms. It starts with taking these existing models and creating another model."
However, content fragmentation isn’t just a language issue. It can also be one of platform, as different departments’ individual information needs are met with a slew of specialized products, few of which are designed with cross-platform integration in mind. Even within a system such as SharePoint, different pages or platforms don’t always function together as a single, searchable unit.
SchemaLogic is still available as a stand-alone suite, but it is fully committed to its mission to be the standard-setting search bridge between multiple SharePoint sites. And it seems like a smart position—after all, SharePoint has chalked up record-breaking revenue growth for Microsoft and has already made a strong impression on more than 100 million licensees. SchemaLogic is a member of the Interop Vendor Alliance, a group of developers designing products with Microsoft system interoperability in mind. Less than a year after releasing the SchemaLogic Connector for SharePoint, it was accredited as Designed for EMC Documentum, as well as becoming a Gold Certified Partner in Microsoft’s Partner Program.
The Gold Certified Partner status gives SchemaLogic even greater access to SharePoint’s inner workings, which Dirks and his team hope will in turn give them ways to make their Connector even more relevant to SharePoint users. "You’ll continue to see us put more meat on the bone with respect to how we’re aligning with SharePoint," says Dirks.
It’s rare to hear a CEO sound off so positively about a product that’s not even his, but in Dirks’ case, he and SchemaLogic see the future of the company closely intertwined with integration and adaptability. And they can’t help but have their eyes on the commercial benefits of tapping into SharePoint’s enterprise audience. "We have a role to play in solving some very fundamental issues in information management," says Dirks. "In a global economy, we think that creates a great trajectory for us. It’s a market-making company in the metadata industry."
Fun Fact: CEO Jeff Dirks is an avid golfer. He scored big for SchemaLogic with a hole in one during the Washington Software Association golf tournament, winning a cash prize … and bonus PR points.
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