Amazon service could improve website search
- By Rutrell Yasin
- Apr 12, 2012
Amazon Web Services has launched a service that will let organizations easily integrate sophisticated search functionality into their applications and websites.
Developers simply create a search domain and upload the data they want to be searchable, and Amazon CloudSearch
automatically provisions the technology resources required and deploys the highly tuned search indexes needed, Amazon officials said.
Amazon CloudSearch scales as the amount of searchable data increases or as the query rate changes, and businesses can change search parameters, fine-tune search relevance, and apply new settings at any time without having to upload the data again, according to the company.
Amazon CloudSearch offers pay-as-you-go pricing with no up-front expenses or long-term commitments, Amazon officials said.
Building robust search capability typically requires dedicated engineering teams who spend weeks, or even months, provisioning, configuring and deploying search infrastructure and software. At the same time, companies have to hire search specialists to constantly monitor, manage and adjust the search solution as traffic volumes change.
However, Amazon’s service is designed to relieve organizations from the complexity of building and managing their own search engines, said Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web Services.
“For many organizations, search plays a major role in how their customers experience their product or service —
businesses need a sophisticated search capability to help their customers find the right information quickly,” Selipsky said.
CloudSearch uses the same A9 Technology, an Amazon Company, that powers search for Amazon.com and provides businesses with high throughput and low latency.
The service provides a rich query language that enables businesses to search within particular fields, perform complex Boolean searches, retrieve facet information, and specify the data included in the search results, Amazon officials said.
Setup and configuration are simple and easy to use as the service automatically detects and recommends the ideal search fields from a sample dataset. Settings also can be customized from the AWS Management Console.
Ex.fm, a social music discovery platform that offers a large collection of free, legal music via the Web, uses CloudSearch, so ex.fm users can search through the more than 100,000 new song links added to the platform each day, said Lucas Hrabovsky, chief technology officer of ex.fm.
Sage Bionetworks, a nonprofit biomedical research organization, has integrated Amazon CloudSearch in Synapse, the company’s informatics platform for collaborative biological research. “The search service built by CloudSearch will help scientists find and use relevant data from a broad set of scientific resources,” said Michael Kellen, director of technology and software development at Sage Bionetworks
Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.