The Endeca thing

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So, it’s been a few weeks now and I have had to explain to numerous people around me what the “Endeca thing” is. Here is the explanation that seems to resonate with most people…

Endeca is a new kind of database that is best described in contrast to existing and popular database technologies – Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS). RDBMSs are especially well suited to handled transaction and process based models. The popularity of RDBMSs has had a lot to do with the fact that the majority of systems built in the past 20-30 years during the client-server and web waves have been focused on automating and optimizing process execution.

Unfortunately, when RDBMSs are applied to non-process based problems they seem to get in the way more than they help. Think about situations where it is less about the process than it is about the effective discovery and analysis of information; situations where people have used Business Intelligence or Search technologies. Despite many innovations and developments over the past few years, no technology seems to stand as the clear solutions for these types of problems… …except maybe Endeca.

Indeed, Endeca is a new kind of database specifically designed to solve a whole new class of problems; problems that are about information discovery, search and analysis.

You can see examples of this on the Internet, for example product search and catalog browsing (at the time of this posting Endeca powers product search and catalog browsing on Home Depot and Walmart). But there is more to this than eCommerce retail.

For example, staffing consultants in a large consulting firm is a lot more about digging through gobs of possibilities than it is executing a well defined process. Selecting parts when designing a new car, truck or plane; navigating vast numbers of investment options; and many more such opportunities exist.

So there you have it; new class of problems being acknowledged, new tools to solve these problems. That’s Endeca for you.

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