December 13, 2004
Autonomy Corp announced the launch of a major upgrade of its award-winning core product, IDOL Server. The launch of IDOL 5.0 is the result of extensive and continued investment in research and development and extensive consultation with Autonomy's 1,000-strong global customer base.
IDOL 5.0 features a number of key developments such as a new major algorithm for Automatic Query Guidance which fundamentally advances the way unskilled users find information; the development of a sentient architecture which delivers on the vision of autonomic computing; 50 new IDOL operations; improved installation via a wizard installation facility and an enhancement of IDOL's core capabilities which extends IDOL's ability to handle information intelligently encompassing probabilistic structured information.
The inclusion of a brand new search algorithm, Automatic Query Guidance provides unskilled users with an easy navigation facility which directs users to the results they require based on a conceptual and contextual understanding of their query. Instead of page ranking, an approach which has been proven to be ineffective in the link free enterprise, Automatic Query Guidance uses conceptual clustering to determine the context of a user's search and present the most appropriate results along with other suggestions, even from few or single word queries. For example, if a user in a manufacturing company user queries "washer," AQG uses conceptual clustering to determine if the user is most likely to desire documents on washers as a component for a tap, or on washers as in washing machines.
A key component of this latest version of IDOL Server is the development of a sentient architecture which delivers on the concept of autonomic computing for companies worldwide. Global predictive self management, a new development of IDOL Server 5.0, abstracts the need for an administrator, for example, by dynamically throttling IDOL 5.0's connector layer to available bandwidth and a target site's responsiveness together with the ability to predict windows of opportunity for faster collection based on prior usage patterns. This ability to support distributed architectures, identify, potential problems and prompt a real-time, dynamic substitution enables companies to keep systems entirely operational for users at all times. IDOL 5.0's sentient architecture presents a robust solution for large, geographically dispersed, multinational enterprises who seek to make all their information assets readily available.
Expanded IDOL operations including specialist operations such as acoustic fingerprinting which automatically recognize the content of multimedia material such as advertisements, jingles and music take the corpus of IDOL's powerful operations to over 250. Further increasing the range and accessibility of IDOL Server, 5.0 adds pedabyte scalability in order to support some of the largest corporate infrastructures in the world.
Simplified user installation including a single point wizard installation for over 300 functions and automatic installation modes delivers a rapid return on investment by enabling enterprises to get started quickly and efficiently. Designed to enable rapid installation and user acceptance, IDOL 5.0 makes best of breed technology widely accessible. Furthermore, the inclusion of Retina, Autonomy's out-of-the-box web-interface solution for advanced retrieval as standard provides users with fast access to an easy to navigate facility for all retrieval operations. Other enhancements include OCR filtering, improvements to the eduction module to provide automatic tagging for specific phrases or numeric values and a legacy compatibility upgrade in order to provide seamless replacement of simple legacy systems such as Google\ and Verity\.
Alan Lawson from independent analyst Butler Group said, "With this release, Autonomy has combined a number of separate servers into one, making deployment and administration much easier than was previously practical. Autonomy is continuing to deliver the right functionality, with enterprise attributes of scalability and integration, at very much the right time, and Butler Group would expect the product to continue developing from strength to strength."
Mike Lynch, Autonomy, commented "This release of IDOL Server 5.0 represents a major new development in Autonomy's core technology and the result of our sustained investment in research and development of 32 percent year on year. IDOL 5.0, complete with Automatic Query Guidance, which was developed specifically for the enterprise, offers a radically different way to find and capitalise on information within large organisations. Unlike page ranking technology which is popular on the internet but shown to be inappropriate for the enterprise, IDOL 5.0 uses highly sophisticated AQG technology in order to deliver highly accurate, relevant information to users in the enterprise entirely automatically. The inclusion of advanced structured data handling capabilities extends Autonomy's unique offering by bringing the power of IDOL to all corporate assets and allowing enterprises to maximise their investment in both internal and external information sources."
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