Ottawa, Canada-based information search company Fulcrum Technologies Inc says it has licensed intelligent linguistic analysis technology from ERLI S.A. The initial agreement covers ERLI’s Information Retrieval application but Fulcrum says there’s a strong possibility the deal will be extended to license the Paris-based company’s Terminology Manager offering. Designed for use in tandem with a conventional search engine, ERLI’s IR performs complex linguistic analysis to help it recognize the intended meanings of search terms, giving results based on the context intended by the user. The software also enables organizations to create their own dictionary of specialist terms to further narrow the number of irrelevant hits returned on a given search. Fulcrum says the technology will help it provide more accurate concept searches in its existing search software. The company’s key products are its Knowledge Network; a means of performing unified searches across multiple data repositories including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes web sites and file systems, and Searchserver; a standards-based tool for developing client/server applications. Fulcrum plans to integrate the software into its Knowledge Network and SearchServer offerings by year-end. The Canadian firm has been working with ERLI on several internet and intranet projects connected to the European Union for the past two to three years. Twenty year-old ERLI specializes in natural-language processing and linguistic projects, and counts France Telecom and International Yellow Pages among its users. Meanwhile Fulcrum says it is still looking into the possibility of using the similar LinguistX language processing software from Xerox Corp’s InXight Software Inc (CI No 3,065) but has yet to carry out its own tests. Current versions of Knowledge Network and SearchServer are priced at around $400 per user depending on the size of the implementation and the number of connectors to outside data sources.
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