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December 19, 2008

Google tests multi-lingual search appliance

Google Inc has developed a Cross-Language Search feature for its Google Enterprise Search Appliance that should let businesses with a diverse and multi-national workforce to seek out and read corporate content in any one of 34 languages.

By Jason Stamper

The cross-language tool is currently under test. It uses Google’s machine translation technology to translate the document on the fly, and is said to be capable of finding any relevant internal documents written in any language, no matter what language was used to create the query.

The Google Search Appliance is a rack-mounted device which bundles Google software that crawls enterprise content to create a master index of documents, so that they can be searched and retrieved whenever an employee types in a search query.

Its security features ensure that users can only access the information that they have permission to view.

The appliance is designed to crawl SharePoint, Documentum, FileNet, OpenText and LiveLink content management systems, as well as Lotus Notes, Domino, databases like Oracle and SQL Server and a wide range of document formats. Administrators can also adjust search results for different user groups, based on their department or function.

“Before today, when users searched for a topic, the search only returned documents that were in the same language as the query,” Cyrus Mistry, enterprise product manager at Google Labs, posted in a blog yesterday.

“Now users can search in their native language, but find every document within the enterprise on the topic. Cross-Language Enterprise Search instantly translates your Google Search Appliance query from one language to one or more other languages using Google’s best-in-class translation engine”

Sites that have already deployed a Google appliance can test the feature by downloading the software from the Google Enterprise Labs website.

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