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   Re: XML Search Engine

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  • From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
  • To: fernando@pix.com.br
  • Date: Fri, 06 Nov 1998 08:22:28 -0800

At 10:12 AM 11/6/98 +0200, Fernando Cabral wrote:
>Nevertheless, you've forgotten a very
>important name: Dataware Technologies (http://www.dataware.com).
>Dataware grew from 0 to several million dollars in a few years
>selling text-retrieval systems for CDs (about $40MB/year). Then
>it bought BRS, with more than 2,000 data centers.

Well, I just went and checked their financials, and while they
actually showed a bit of profit I observe that their revenue, 
for this quarter against the same quarter last year, is declining 
(down from $5.4m to $4.8m) and the 3/4 results are down from $14.6m 
to $14.2m.  This is the high-growth Internet/Software field?  I repeat 
my claim that this is not a good busines to be in.

>About two years ago Dataware launched EPMS, now renamed
>Dataware II Publisher. This is a version of BRS entirely based
>on SGML (it reads from about 300 different formats, converts
>and stores as an SGML file, and allows you to do text retrieval
>both in the traditional way as well as in a more SGML-like way.
>Of course, it can read and index directly SGML, XML and HTML.

Can anyone else substantiate this?  Last time I looked at BRS/search,
it was a very traditional atomic-document thing; it had some fielded
search, but it could only *find* documents.  Obviously for XML you
need to find elements.  It would be great if BRS was really 

>Talking about money, it is quite clear that IBM made a lotof money selling
>STAIRS. Now it is musty but for more
>than 20 years it reigned undisputed undisputed in the mainframe

Here we agree.  IBM made some serious money with STAIRS (I suspect
mostly by selling mainframes to run it on).

>So, I think the right conclusion is that in the low-end line of products
>where quality/functionality is disputable and price is very low
>(PC DOCs, Verity...) there is no real money. On the other hand,
>vendors aiming the high-end market should not complain.

I don't the evidence supports this view.

>Own experience is that relational vendors are complete uncapableof providing a
>good solution for text retrieval. The products
>are usually very poor on the funcionality side and miserable on
>the performance side.

That's really interesting information.  This is about the 5th time
I've heard this; always anecdotal evidence, but it adds up. -Tim

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