Since the acquisition of Sun few years ago, Oracle is now has more things to offer (especially in the hardware side). From a company of Software Products, Oracle is now a company with lot of hardware stuff as well. Oracle’s Exadata and Exalogic are some of the top-tier hardware offerings that we all know. They are based on Sun SPARC hardware. There are lot of things to talk about… However, in this post, I wanted to explore something less talked about.
If you are an Oracle Shop running Enterprise Applications from Oracle, then you may want to look for Enterprise Search Application from Oracle to provide search capabilities for your intranet applications (especially for content management systems). I came to know about this recently when I was reading the Release Value Propositions for Peopletools 8.52. Then, I realized that this product is used in many other products from Oracle.
Functionality of SES
Secure Enterprise Search (SES) 11g (11.1.2) is a product from Oracle for Search Operations in enterprise systems. Also, Oracle’s Secure Enterprise Search (SES) comes with Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition – for use with limited license with Oracle database 11g. SES 11g requires Weblogic Application Server for the functionality (so, obviously it uses lot of Java for sure).
Oracle SES can crawl, search and index for several source types. Some of the content types that are built-in for SES are web content, files, emails, database tables and other SES sources. Also, using connectors you can use many of the content management products for search purposes.
Here are some of the Oracle products that uses/will use SES as part of providing search operations:
- Proposed Peopletools 8.52
- Fusion Applications
- Oracle iAS/Portal
- Web Center etc
My personal opinion is, installing something is the simple thing to do with any of the Oracle Products that I know of. If you can understand some of the basic concepts behind Oracle Installers, then you are all set with the installation, nothing complicated here – installation is easy. During the SES installation, you need to make sure the port numbers and the data storage locations are correctly setup. Configuring a product for a specific implementation is something more work to do, some conceptual knowledge will be required at this time.
Most of the time, contents are not public for SES to search. So the search engine should provide crawling and indexing functions for private content. So, a kerberos based authentication or LDAP based authentication can be used in SES as an authentication plug-ins.
SES Scheduler is used to run jobs for crawling and related purposes. Also, we can write a custom Scheduled Tasks for SES using Search API.
If you have some basic understanding of the search engine concepts, then I think SES Administration Tool is simple and easy to understand.
For searching, there are variety of content available from products from different vendors. SES can perform search and index operations in variety of other target systems using SES Connectors. Obviously, in heterogeneous IT environments, the content is not available in one single source or systems. So, there are different connectors available. Oracle SES 11g connectors are delivered free with the SES product for:
- Microsoft Exchange
- NTFS File Systems
- JDBC Connections to Oracle and MS SQL Server
- Microsoft Sharepoint
- Oracle Portal 9/10 etc.
There are other SES Connectors available for different products, especially for content management systems. However it looks like they need a separate license to be purchased. You can check the available SES Connectors here.
SES and Oracle products
I checked few of the products that are using/planning to use SES. There are other Oracle Products too. This is only a short list that I know of:
In the next release of Peoplesoft’s Peopletools (expected in Q3/Q4 2011), SES framework will be used in the Peoplesoft Systems. Peoplesoft Applications already use Verity Software for the Search Operations. We need to wait until Peopletools 8.52 release to see what things are going to change.
To know more about PeopleSoft Application Search in next release of Peopletools, you can check here.
Fusion Middleware and Applications
Web Center uses SES as Search Provider. Also, Fusion Application uses SES as the default search Provider.
Going forward, SES will replace the Oracle’s earlier UltraSearch as the Search Provider in newer versions of Portal.
Latest versions of EBS support SES. You may want to check the system certifications for SES on EBS in My Oracle Support.
So, thats it for now. Lets meet you in another post. Until then