Chapter 5. Search Technology Part 1
There are two fundamental components of any search application. An index of documents is created and then a search query is made which identifies which of those documents satisfies the enquiry. If only that was all there was to search process. The reality is that any search application consists of a set of modules, each of which carries out a specific task in the search process. Some of these modules may be bought in by the search vendor and others will be developed internally. The same is true of open-source software development.
Users should not have to know anything about search technology to be able to use it effectively but understanding the elements of search technology is important in the selection, testing and management of a search application. This is because one or more of these modules may be especially important in being able to meet a specific user requirement. It is very much a question of the whole only being as strong as the weakest link in the chain. If there are some limitations in the way that content is indexed then it does not matter how elegant the user interface looks information will be not able to be found that could be critical to the operations of the business.
To risk a generalization most other enterprise applications are built around a structured database with highly structured data collected through a well-established set of business processes. The data are collected using forms, data entry screens or from sensors ...