On-site search helps users find their way

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"Old-line industries typically used product catalogs," said John Piscitello, lead senior product manager for AltaVista Search Software. "The procurement experts were the ones who knew how to get around and find the product data. The main premise of Web-based search engines is to allow more people in an organization faster and more instantaneous access to that product information."

• Fast Search and Transfer ASA, Oslo, Norway, searches more than 250 file types and uses contextual searching to relate phrases to relevant documents. Pricing starts at about $10,000 a year.

• Dieselpoint, a site search solutions suite made by Genesee Development Group Inc., Chicago, offers a parametric search engine that allows customers to search for product features or parameters. The difference, the company said, is that the suite doesn't use the series of pull-down menus identifying product criteria that parametric searches usually require. Pricing was not available.

"Site search is an ecosystem," said Tom Wilde, executive VP-marketing for Fast Search and Transfer. "You need to have capabilities in three areas—aggregation in search intelligence, search horsepower and presentation intelligence."

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