By Claire West
Exalead, a global provider of search-based business application (SBA) technology, today announced that the University of Sunderland is using its CloudView solution to provide accurate, meaningful search results across its extensive academic and operational databases, as well as logging attendance via electronic swipe card data.
With origins going back to 1901, the University of Sunderland has a track record of innovation, being the first to offer sandwich courses, and an early adopter of the new route PhD. The university has over 10,000 students, of whom nearly three quarters are from overseas. Research staff and students alike rely on the availability of reliable search tools to conduct everything from literature reviews to data mining across the complete range of databases and document types.
“We needed to be able to make more sophisticated use of search within the university,” explained University of Sunderland Project Manager, Dean Hale. “CloudView is really user friendly, presenting results in a practical, visual format. We now offer our users everything you’d expect of an academic search engine, from ‘sounds like’ and title search to Boolean logic and regular expression terms.”
The university found that attempts to extend search capabilities within the establishment were becoming increasingly difficult with its existing setup. It needed to go beyond basic search and indexing, to make use of data that changed in real time and be able to add new search based applications (SBA) with ease.
“We couldn’t get our existing search appliance to search our databases very easily. Where this was possible we struggled to get it to present results correctly,” explained Hale. “Databases are crucial to research, but are only as useful as our ability to extract information from them and to make comparisons across data in a range of formats. Most search technologies are great at static web content: we have to be much more dynamic than that.”
The University of Sunderland’s online search capabilities are now available across its web, intranet, extranet, and even secure content. Hale is particularly pleased that the semantic capabilities of the search engine greatly reduce the time he and his staff spend engaged in adding content to code.
“As planned, the university is also beginning to use the real time capabilities afforded by the Exalead technology in more novel ways,” said Hale. “For instance, one Exalead search based application has now been linked up to the university’s system of electronic swipe cards and is now logging attendance data for funding purposes, in real time.”
Exalead’s CloudView Search is an easy-to-use platform for creating search-based applications that access both structured and unstructured data such as instant messages, emails, web pages, and multimedia. With its innovative architecture, the CloudView platform provides core search solutions, which are feature rich and extremely easy to implement, thus providing a perfect combination of reduced administration costs and a better search experience for customers.