Business & Technology Nexus

Dave Stephens on technology and business trends

OneBox – Good Idea, Tough Problem

with 3 comments

Google is giving enterprise search another go, this time with OneBox, its followup to the Google search appliance. Check out the datasheet. Also check out the support from Oracle, salesforce.com, etc. in these video clips. (And notice Oracle's example search via OneBox is for requisitions)

The problem Google is attacking is a good one – enterprise systems, including Procurement, tend be okay at recording history. But sharing that transactional history and turning it into knowledge that empowers an organization is another thing entirely.

Now how to do this & enforce the data- and role-based security so present in today's enterprise software is a tough challenge. So, for the moment I'll profess some skepticism on how well this concept might work. Not as much as this SAP guy, mind you, but some at least.

But for very large enterprises with hopelessly fragmented systems maybe this "mashup" of ERP & Google is just what the doctor ordered.

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Written by Dave Stephens

04/20/06 7:40 AM at 7:40 am

Posted in Opinion, Technology

3 Responses

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  1. Dave,

    All the security is managed in the applications. There is no additional setup. There is no security requirement necessary from Google. One aspect of the vision is unifying a diverse software portfolio. Imagine each enterprise separately enabling each of their enterprise applications with search keywords. The user experience is unified, and perhaps, in some cases, as in information access, IT has less integration work to do… Entire business processes can be investigated without typical integration. Just with simple keywords.

    Interested Party

    04/28/06 2:54 PM at 2:54 pm

  2. “One Ring to rule them all,
    One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all,”

    I wish One Box is as powerful!

    Searching ad-hoc text and searching a structured applications data are not one and the same, no matter however much Google or Oracle wants to convince people. There are fundamental differences and limitations.

    One Box talks about defining a regular expression to identify the type of “entity” to search for. For ticker symbols and UPS codes this probably works fine. But not for Item part numbers and Vendors names which can’t be classified using a regular expression.

    Further, the security these applications talk about is primarily either server-to-server authentication or user-to-server-to-3rdparty authentication. But people who work on enterprise applications know that the most difficult problem is the data level security.

    AnonymousCoward

    04/28/06 10:21 PM at 10:21 pm

  3. there you have it folks. 2 different views, both from inside oracle, both anonymous. i agree with the goals of the 1st commenter & with the hornets nest of data level security problems of the 2nd commenter. but, look, if oracle and other partners of google can make it perform as a mega-distributed search, people may line up around the block for it.. and as for the lord of the rings reference, well, nuff said.

    Dave Stephens

    04/29/06 10:44 AM at 10:44 am


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