Attivio Shifts Gears: Moves from OEM into Direct Market

Aug 01, 2008

With Attivio’s Embedded Active Intelligence Engine out for a mere four months, one might wonder why the company has already announced an upgrade. According to Sid Probstein, Attivio’s CTO, this was always part of the plan. "OEM was a tremendous proving ground. Embedding [AIE] in someone else’s product is a unique challenge…" says Probstein, "it forces you to have a good eye for quality."

Attivio’s Embedded Active Intelligence Engine (AIE) search engine was specifically designed from the ground up for the OEM Search market. The 1.2 version made its debut earlier this week with a few big changes, query-side JOIN, real-time processing with alerting, comprehensive connectivity and language support, and enhanced user experience with easy navigation. This version also marks Attivio’s move from strictly-OEM into the direct-to-enterprise market.

The AIE 1.2 release tackles a search problem plaguing many companies: It has been difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile database queries with searches of emails, documents, videos, and more. Attivio’s goal is to make these problems a thing of the past. AIE 1.2 combines business intelligence and enterprise search capabilities to integrate structured data and unstructured content into a single index.

What makes this possible for AIE is its query-side JOIN technology (for which Attivio has applied for a patent). Relationships in data are maintained or discovered, and can be fully exploited. According to Attivio, AIE leverages the simplicity, speed and fuzziness of search with the precision of SQL.

In the real world, this has many possible applications. For instance, Probstein says a systems company that works with homeland security approached Attivio, looking for a way to quickly and efficiently search in a meaningful way between the information in databases, and all of their other full-text documents. AIE made it possible to save searches and look for people fitting specific profiles, using things like names, geographical information, criminal histories, and more across all types of unstructured information and databases.

Of course not all customers are using AIE for matters of national security. Rather, they use the technology to fit their needs. One content publishing customer uses information taken from indexed articles to suggest other articles to readers on the web. With more traffic going to the portal’s other articles, the hope is that ad hits will increase.

"What we’re hearing is that [our customers] want to generate competitive advantage," says Probstein. While there has been plenty of talk about making a quick, efficient access point to all information a reality for enterprises, he says, "if you’re only focused on unstructured data you can’t do that." Whether a user needs to find a potential security threat, experts within an organization, or generate new ad hits it all comes back to the same thing for Attivio: access to structured and unstructured data.

AIE does more than just search, according to Probstein. The "Active" part of AIE is also important. Search results can also be used to trigger actions. This event or action could simply be a response to someone's question online or notification to another person or active dashboard. The program also boasts a small footprint, only about 10 megabytes, as well as easy install and set-up--only about 15 minutes according to Andrew McKay, SVP of products.

Over the next 18 months or so, Probstein says we can expect to see more point releases fro Attivio. "We definitely expect to continue to innovate as directed by our clients and partners," he adds. Next year will also bring a new full release from AIE. He hints at perhaps getting into more traditional database warehousing markets, which Probstein thinks are a natural fit.


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