I saw a preview of two new search tools from Interwoven. I think they will dramatically improve the ability of users to pull relevant information from their document management system.
[Disclaimer: Shortly after their presentation, Interwoven brought me and dozens of others to EPCOT for dinner, followed by a private desert reception overlooking the fireworks.]
The first tool is their WorkSite Miner tool. It is an improved search tool built into the Interwoven application. The results are returned in their typical results grid. But, you can group the results based on any column of information. This feature looks like it operates similar to the grouping function in Outlook. You grab the column heading with your mouse and drag it into the table header. You can pull additional column headings to have multiple layers of grouping.
In connection with this tool, they also made a simple search box available. This new search box operates outside the application and can be pulled up at any time using desktop commands.
The second tool is their new Universal Search. This is a new enterprise search tool powered by Vivisimo’s Velocity search tool. The Universal Search has faceting searching that allows you to focus a broad search using the document metadata. You can filter documents by a particular client, document type, or whatever else you force your users to profile on a document when they save it into Interwoven.
It also has the semantic clustering of topics in the documents from Vivisimo (To see how this works, try some searches on Clusty.com, which is powered by Vivisimo.)
The Universal Search can be set up to index other datasources, such as your intranet, CRM or other information repository. Also, when you search, you can limit your search to a particular repository. Out of the box, it will have connectors for SharePoint, some CRM systems and email systems.
I really liked their approach to limit the date range. They show a histogram with a graphical representation of the number of results on each particular date. You can use a simple slider to limit the date range and visually see the volume of documents being included or excluded. This looks much easier to deal with as compared to using a pop-up calendar to limit and supplies much more information to the user.
The Universal Search will also have an alert feature. When new items would be returned by the search, it will show the new additions to the results set.
Universal Search is targeted for release at the end of September 2007.