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We're looking at our Enterprise Search Strategy (by "Enterprise" I mean business), and I'm putting togther a paper which includes the pros and cons of both.

I'm wondering what would drive a decison either way. I imagine a certain situation would suggest Federated search as the prefered option, where-as others woudl be better suited to an Enterprise Search approach.

For the record, we're mainly interested in searching documents / document repositories.

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Adrian, there are several "opinions" on the differences between enterprise and federated searches. In a previous position my team used enterprise search more effectively and although we invested heavily in a Federated search solution, it became increasingly difficult to de-dupe and merge the discoveries. In fact we had to spend a significant amount of time and resources on storage and servers (for caching speed). Unless I am mis-reading your requirements, I recommend enterprise search.

Of the Enterprise search solutions, below is Gartner's 2010 magic quadrant review of solutions. If you haven't used Gartner's magic quadrants, here is a good description of how they work. For the record we tried EMC's Email eXtender (for large repositories of PSTs) with Google and, interwoven (now Autonomy). We also tried Vivisimo.

For the record. I personally liked the Interwoven solution, but it was costly. Google had the best support.

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+1 - Thanks fergNab, I hadn't consider de-duping. You'd think Google wouldn't be a "Challenger" eh? –  Adrian K Dec 1 '10 at 18:34
    
Thanks, ya the Google interface was also somewhat limiting. Interwoven had a great way to populate a grid with small thumbnail images for the discovery that really helped. –  Fergus Dec 3 '10 at 1:43
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