Well if you dislike FAST now, you may like it even less when Microsoft acquires them

Microsoft has just offer to acquire FAST. I’m guessing this is a move to strengthen Microsoft internet search capabilities. It going to take Microsoft awhile to incorporate FAST in Sharepoint, given that FAST is Java based and Sharepoint is .NET. What will be interesting is determining the impact of this acquisition with respect to the Documentum?

The indexing engine that is currently available with Documentum D6 is FAST. While performance of FAST is much better than the old Verity search that was part of Content Server in version 5.2.x and earlier, and the FAST infrastructure is more scalable, these benefits come with a steep price in complexity and hardware requirements. I am aware of multiple clients that have not installed FAST or have asked system integrators to integrate Documentum with other search engines.

In my previous post, you can see that a fellow Documentum consultant was asked to integrate Google Search Appliance with Documentum. Also, Documentum currently offers a Content Server OEM Edition that comes with Lucene instead of FAST. In version D6.5, Lucene is supposed to be an installation option that is part of Content Server.

How will this acquisition change Documentum’s relationship with FAST? Will the integration of FAST into Sharepoint strain the OEM relationship between Documentum and FAST? Ultimately, the better question to ask is “will Lucene become the Documentum de facto search engine?”

My guess is YES – maybe in D7 timeframe.

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11 responses to “Well if you dislike FAST now, you may like it even less when Microsoft acquires them

  1. Johnny, interesting to see this news as well:

    http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/08012008/0000/oem-agreement-emc-autonomy-corp-plc.html

    It would appear that 2008 has started with a flurry of activity, very interesting.

  2. Thanks for that info Lee about “Autonomy Enters into OEM Agreement with EMC.” The irony here is that Verity was acquired by Autonomy in 2005 shortly after FAST was selected to replace Verity for Documentum 5.3 release.

  3. Its always better to opt for Lucene.

    Documentum should collaborate more with OSS if it wants to expand its base.Nuxeo and Alfresco hold great potential in long term in halting DCTM customer base expansion.

  4. Pingback: EMC Search Potpourri « Word of Pie

  5. Interesting as FileNet also uses FAST and is now also Java.

    Mind you DCTM and IBM are now looking at their own search technology ie Omnifind and discovery, so I think that the losers will be Fast.

  6. I would be weary to buy anything made by IBM. Their products work great only if you are running in their preferred environment – DB2, Websphere, AIX, etc. I have seen their products completely fail in other environments using other vendor’s products – Oracle, Weblogic, etc. I havent heard anything about DCTM building their own search engine. Do you have a reference on this?

  7. FAST was having money trouble, MOSS’ search was limited. Is it really a coincidence that the EMC/Autonomy and Microsoft/FAST announcements were made at the same time? See http://www.BrilliantLeap.com/blog

  8. I would be curious to see how long MSFT thinks it will take to convert the java based FAST to be included into Sharepoint .NET framework. The hardware requirements are already steep for FAST. Try including that into what is already needed for production Sharepoint implementation.

  9. I think this move is just about entering the ECM market by the back-door. I personally don’t think this move aims primarily at “strengthening Microsoft internet search capabilities”. I personnaly think this is just a way for Microsoft to get some nice portfolio of customers to work on/with. Entering the ECM market (the real one on enterprise level) would have taken too much time to Microsoft. It would have taken several years for its Sharepoint Framework to start frightening the real ECM leaders and get some real customer base, don’t you think?

  10. I dont really have a grasp of the customer base of FAST outside of DCTM to know how many customers they are “getting in with” from the acquisition. I do agree with you that MS is moving up from the dept size customers and making some in roads in mid-level and enterprise customers.

  11. From http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=7518
    [...]FAST counts Comcast, Disney, Microsoft, Pfizer, UBS and others as customers[...]

    From http://www.searchengineshowdown.com/features/fast/ (at least in 2002)
    [...]Banca IMI,BroadVision,CareerBuilder, Chordiant,Dell,eBay,Ericsson,IBM,Lycos,Reed Elsevier,Reuters,Scandinavia Online,T-Online,Telenor,TIBCO,Tiscali,WIND[...]

    From http://www.fast.no/press.aspx?m=63&amid=7438
    [...]more than 2,600 global customers and partners, including America Online (AOL), Cardinal Health, CareerBuilder.com, CIGNA, CNET, Dell, Factiva, Fidelity Investments, Findexa, IBM, Knight Ridder, LexisNexis, Overture, Rakuten, Reed Elsevier, Reuters, Sensis, Stellent, Tenet Healthcare, Thomas Industrial Networks, T-Online, US Army, Virgilio (Telecom Italia), Vodafone, and Wanadoo.[...]

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