By John | February 25, 2008
The other night, I was at a local Atlanta AITP meeting, and the topic of enterprise search came up. A gentleman sitting in front of me said that enterprise search is the “new data warehousing.” During the break, he told me that his clients, Coke and Cox, both use enterprise search to answer the old data warehouse business intelligence “what if” questions. The old cumbersome ETL1 and ETL2 processing is being replaced by search indexing tools similar to how one would search for something on Google. When I asked him what technology he was using, he said Sharepoint.
On the ride home from the meeting, I started thinking about a blog conversation that Jeff Whatcott, VP of Marketing at Acquia, started a few weeks ago about how Drupal is being pigeon-holed as yet another CMS system. Whatcott wants Drupal to be the next big social networking tool.Â My suggestion in the comments section was that Drupal needed an enemy, for example Sharepoint. After hearing the gentleman at the AITP speak about his experiences with Sharepoint and business intelligence, I ‘m thinking that Whatcott’s “magic slipper” of making Drupal will be the next big social software platform might be too small.
Gartner says that enterprise search is going to be a $1.2 billion market by 2010. One of Sharepoint’s strengths in enterprise search is the integration between taxonomy management and content management. Now, with its pending acquisition of Fast, Sharepoint is clearly positioning itself to be a leader in the content and search space. IMHO, you can’t have one without the other. You need a strong taxonomy management front end to be the portal for all of the “data” that have to be managed. One of Drupal’s clear strengths is its taxonomy management and its ability to cohesively connect and render content. A well-designed Drupal system can manage images, documents, wikis, blogs, and just about any defined data item on the internet or in the enterprise. If you look at some of the emerging project work being done with open source enterprise search and the Apache Lucene project, you can see some possible synergy between something like Drupal and Hadoop/Nutch/Solr. A combination of these technologies could be the first big open source competitor to Microsoft’s Sharepoint.
Now, if you had just received 7 million dollars to create the next magic slipper, would you spend it on tools to manage spam and analytics on Drupal sites, kind of like what WordPress does, or would you plan on using that money to “GO BIG” and take on MS?