Trouble finding anything with all your cloud services? Elastic might have the thing for you

Search engine and analytics tools company Elastic has come up with Elastic Enterprise Search in a bid to offer a unified way of searching through multiple cloud offerings.

The tool is meant to provide a quicker way of finding information across data sources such as Google Drive and GitHub. To make it easy to use, advanced keyword detection is integrated to help the system to get the intention of a request.

This can be useful to filter the results, for example by a specific date, without users having to switch to some sort of advanced search interface as is often the case with similar products. Elastic Enterprise Search also includes features such as autocomplete, tolerance for typos and a search history for ease of use.

Owners of an Elastic premium license who have Elasticsearch 6.7.1 and Java 8 or 11 installed can download the beta version of Elastic Enterprise Search now. Once the configuration file is changed in such a way that automatic index creation is allowed, users can run the binary and set up the dashboard according to their needs.

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This entails adding content sources used in their organisation, amongst other things. For now, the search comes with connectors for Google Drive, GitHub, Salesforce, and Dropbox, as those are the most commonly used cloud applications according to Elastic. A custom connector framework, however, lets users synchronise data from additional sources such as knowledge bases, internal applications, or additional communication channels.

To make sure departments such as sales or engineering only find content from the sources they’d normally use, admins can put team members into groups and assign content sources. They are also able to tune search relevance for the different sources, so that for example GitHub hits rank higher in searches done by members of the engineering team than search hits in Dropbox.

Elastic is known for products such as the Elasticsearch search engine and data visualisation tool Kibana. The last major update of the stack was released back in April. This year, however, the company mainly got attention thanks to AWS’ move to launch its own Elasticsearch distribution.

In March VP Cloud Architecture Strategy at AWS Adrian Cockcroft criticized Elastic’s adding of more proprietary code to the project’s code base, which apparently left some AWS customers with a “lack of clarity as to what customers who care about open source are getting and what they can depend on”.

Elastic founder Shay Bannon meanwhile interpreted rebundlings and new distributions as “a sign of success and the reach our products have. From various vendors, to large Chinese entities, to now, Amazon. There was always a ‘reason’, at times masked with fake altruism or benevolence”.

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