ISYS finds it your way
GCN Lab Review | ISYS:desktop 8 lets you leave your files where they are and still let users search through them efficiently
- By Greg Crowe
- Nov 16, 2006
Using enterprise search software is a great way to ensure that everybody in your organization has access to the information they need to do their jobs.
Unfortunately, implementing such software often requires completely reorganizing your file structure, possibly renaming each file to follow a convention required by the software.
ISYS:desktop 8, from ISYS Search Software lets you leave your files where they are and still let users search through them efficiently.
When you open ISYS:desktop 8 for the first time, it asks you to identify the location or locations of the files you want to search. There is no need to move or reorganize the files'ISYS is able to work with the files in their present state.
Performing a query can be as simple as entering a search term into the field locateat the top of the screen. For a more elaborate search, you can formulate a query with a menu-driven wizard. For even finer control, you also have the option of using the ISYS query language, which isn't too different from other query languages.
If you don't want to take the time to learn the syntax of the query language, you can also use the Natural Language Query option. This lets you type in your search request in your own words. The software will attempt to interpret the request.
Although it isn't perfect, we found it did a good job of deciphering all but the most convoluted phrases.
Whichever way you choose to search, the results come up quickly and can be sorted by relevance, location or many other possible characteristics. The display indicates what type of file it is and how many occurrences of your search term ISYS found.
The search has a number of advanced features as well. ISYS extracts names of people, organizations, places, e-mail addresses and Web sites, listing them in a separate window.
We found this very helpful in fine-tuning searches. For example, the software can pinpoint documents on a certain topic that have to do only with a specific department within an organization.
ISYS also categorizes the resulting documents on the fly, using the file names and locations as keys. It is pretty smart about grouping like documents together and assigning them categories.
The software allows you to see extracts of the documents that contain your search criteria.
This Quick View feature saves you from having to open the document in its native program to learn if it is the one you need. ISYS does a good job of presenting the document plainly, although it has none of the formatting of the original. Still, we definitely prefer this to attempting to duplicate formatting, which is often done poorly.
The most impressive feature of ISYS:desktop 8 is the number of file types it supports, probably the most varied set we have seen in this kind of software.
ISYS claims the software supports more than 150 file formats in 30 languages.
While we were not able to test this fully, we found it could handle many commonly used formats, including those used by Microsoft Office, WordPerfect, Adobe Portable Document Format, ZIP archives and even Structured Query Language databases.
Considering what ISYS:desktop 8 provides, its pricing sits at the high end of reasonable. It costs $570 for a single license.
Offices with many potential users can get a network license for $1,000, plus a per-seat price of $100. The per-seat price drops with volume. The software is on a GSA schedule at $427 for the single license, and starting at $750 and $75 per seat for the network license.
Also available are site and enterprise licenses, the prices of which vary depending upon the level of deployment.
Of course, there is a maintenance fee of 20 percent of your total cost, no matter which license plan you purchase.
ISYS:desktop 8 is ideal for any organization with a great volume of shared documents, especially if the documents are scattered about the network.
Even if your files are fairly well organized, though, it still might be worth a look.
Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.