Sabisu Enterprise Search – an introduction

Sabisu is all about collecting everything you need into one place; manufacturing data, enterprise data, people, actions, documents and anything else you may need.

So enterprise search was the obvious topic for our hackathon; we felt it was important that the platform gives you an easy way to find what you need, wherever it may be.

Challenges

Yet that’s an almost impossible task, as the likes of Google and Microsoft are finding with their Enterprise and FAST technology; indexing the enterprise may be smaller scale than indexing the web, but there are lots of content types to accommodate. 

The Sabisu team placed the following requirements on the Sabisu Search :

  • Take advantage of existing investments in enterprise search.
  • Work with any current Sabisu data source, including those often ignored by enterprise search engines such as process historians.
  • Build in such a way that Search can be extended to legacy or complex systems that are currently not supported, or are indeed unsupportable.
  • On-demand, so no crawler or indexing tasks.
  • Fast and responsive, not dependent on the slowest third party source.
  • Allow each customer to configure their own search scope, i.e., opt systems in or out at will.
  • Allow context sensitive behaviour when a user clicks on a search result.

Search in the Sabisu platform is a modular approach to searching data inside the customers’ corporate environment, regardless of whether that data is retrieved from one or many data sources. Modules are developed and stored on premise; keeping potentially sensitive data out of the cloud.

The Solution

The key word for the Sabisu Search solution is modular.

You’ll be familiar with Sabisu Data Connectors, which provide a modular approach for connecting to back-end sources. Every customer configures the Data Connectors appropriate to their requirements.

Search adds the concept of Search Modules, which are centrally created by the On-Premise Administrator and assigned to Data Connectors. Keyword placeholders are assigned during configuration and replaced with search terms at run-time.

Each Search Module can be taken taken offline for maintenance, hiding the module from any users on the platform and preventing any search from taking place utilising that particular module’s query.

The Sabisu platform has as standard a number of default Search Modules distributed to each On-Premise as standard:

  • #Tag
    Searches Sabisu for items tagged by users
  • Actions
    Returns Sabisu Actions for the search terms entered
  • Widget Store
    Returns all the Widgets in the Widget Store that match the search terms and that the user has access to view

You’ll find search just where you expect it; top, centre, in the header bar. Just like every other search you’ve used, enter what you’re looking for and hit ‘Enter’.

When a search is carried out, Sabisu searches all the modules enabled for the current user’s On-Premise. Here’s a typical search results screen:

Each module returns what it can – in this example, 6 modules have been searched bringing back 22 results.

Usually a mixture of results is brought back, which may include documents, Actions, Widgets, database values and so on. Some of this may be irrelevant, so the user can deselect modules so as to filter out unnecessary noise. In the following screen, results from the Actions module have been filtered out.

The On-Premise Administrator can also customise what form the search module results take. Sabisu has a number of standard templates built in, but with very little effort they can be modified – particularly relevant if returning results from a system where data is not conducive to presentation in a search such as a process historian.

With lots of different types of results the challenge is to make the response of the system relevant when a result is selected by the user. Sabisu Search Modules can accommodate single or multiple events on selection; either the default event is triggered, or users are invited to choose. These are specified by the On-Premise Administrator when the search is configured, e.g., open an Action, view a document, view a Widget, load a parameter value into a Widget for on-demand trending.

When you’re done, you can always get back to the previously entered search results through the ‘Re-open’ option in the search criteria entry box:

We hope you’ll enjoy using Search and that it proves to be useful. As with the Sabisu platform in general, the development team will continue to iterate this based on your feedback.

Got some feedback? Head over to the Sabisu Users Group on LinkedIn and let us know what you think.

 

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