Evaluating the Search Engine in Email Archiving
All email archive solutions have an embedded index engine, and these have an important effect on the functionality of an archiving product.
Some of the most popular indexing engines are Alta Vista, dtSearch, FAST, and IDOL. They index all the archive files (message body, subject line, attachments) and provide for fast archive search and discovery. Search functions like wild cards, proximity, and Boolean operators are a function of the search index.
Not all indexing solutions are the same. They vary by performance, amount of index capacity, and the search functions they support. When evaluating email archiving, it's appropriate to give thought to the underlying search technology. So ask the vendor to demonstrate the power of the index used in the archive solution. Perform sample searches to gauge its performance. And test the search functions, such as Boolean search (And, Or, Not) and proximity search, if these features are available.
Beyond basic search and discovery, email archive solutions can also use the index engine to help in retention management. This is done by applying labels. For example, a search engine can let you assign tags based on search criteria (e.g., anything with "tax return" in the subject line gets the tag "7 Year Retention"). Another example is the ability to search previously tagged content to cull out information for legal discovery.
Thus the choice of underlying index engine has a significant effect on the capabilities of an archiving product. ... Bob Spurzem