Even though you might not realize it, searching is a part of your everyday life already. This is true in your personal life, and it is likely true in your professional life as well. Consider how many times you take to the web to find something each day. Whether you are on Google, searching the contents of a website, or looking to see what's on Netflix, you are searching. When you are accessing a database at work to find a file or an email, you are searching. Chances are you are doing this dozens of times each day, and perhaps more.
The Current State of Search
We have certain expectations of the search engines we use as well. They should work quickly, and they should be accurate. Google knows and understands this, which is why they are constantly making changes and tweaks to the way their system works. They want to provide the user with the results they need as fast as possible. Even when people use vague phrases and misspelled words, they simply expect the search function to work for them. In many cases, it does, and the search functions are improving all the time.
However, there is a huge difference in terms of web searches and enterprise searches. The web has robust and powerful search engines because they are backed by billions of dollars that can go into the continual development of those engines. They can provide an amazing set of results, but they tend to go wider rather than deep. Enterprise search works a bit differently. It is capable of locating various types of datasets - structured and unstructured - all from within an organization.
While it seems as though this type of search should be easier and simpler, that's not always the case, unless a quality enterprise solution has been implemented. In addition, these systems will benefit from having someone that can manage them, create the taxonomies, and ensure it is working properly. When it does work, it can provide you with more options when it comes to searching. The results tend to go quite a bit deeper with enterprise search. It can handle both words and phrases, as the web search system does. However, it can connect certain documents and items from within the organization with greater efficiency.
Many developers creating enterprise search have been working with open source software. One of the benefits of this type of software was the fact that it didn't contain any licensing fees. In addition, it was easy to build onto and easy to embed. Developers have relied on this for internal use within companies, as well as for commercial purposes. These were workable for a time, but everyone wants search to be better and simpler, and the demand for improved products is higher than ever.