New Search Engine from IBX Now Available

IBX has officially launched the IBX Search Engine. The new application supports established procurement systems from world leading ERP vendors and channels all purchasing transactions into one system.

An easy-to-use search engine is the very first step in sustainable e-procurement success, enabling users to make every purchasing transaction through one channel. Therefore the IBX Search Engine provides a completely redesigned and more flexible user interface where end-users can search all products and services simultaneously from a single source, without having to consider whether it is a contract, a product catalogue or a supplier web shop that would fulfil their procurement needs.

Besides the look and feel, the underlying architecture of the new version of the IBX Search Engine was completely updated. "IBX are committed to becoming the global frontrunner in efficient purchasing and our overarching goal with the redesign is to be the industry leader for user performance and increase support for a larger share of purchasing categories", states Gustav Hasselskog, SVP Product Management and Marketing at IBX Group. "Our customers have demanding implementations. Our new search engine will cover more than 86 countries and 200,000 users."

"When it comes to performance, the only thing that counts is the time that it takes from hitting the search button until all the search results have been displayed in the browser window", adds Stefan Brönner, Chief System Architect at IBX Group. "In IBX Search Engine this is done in less than one second and this is what end users expect – real-time speed!"

To achieve this ambitious speed goal, IBX combined state-of-the art WEB 2.0 technologies like AJAX, JSON and REST with a high performance search kernel. This search kernel is based on Apache Solr, an open source search server, and proprietary IBX technology and allows searching the content in all major languages from Chinese to Russian. The user interface is currently available in nine languages.

"Originally we wanted to buy an existing procurement search application, but none of the available engines were suitable in terms of speed, search logic, availability and scalability", says Hasselskog. "For that reason we decided to develop our own application on top of Solr which proved to be the winning solution."

The performance goals were verified during an intensive test phase. The endurance test was conducted with 50 million line items. Even at this size, the new search engine didn't show any signs of slowing down; the search engine currently contains 6 million line items with plans to add another 10 million in the next four months.

"Adding line items without affecting the end user experience was also high on our list and 100% availability is a must", adds Stefan Brönner. "Solr really shines when it comes to scalability and availability. You can feel that it was designed to do this."

Technical Background - IBX Search Engine:
- In addition to the regular 1-line-entry mask for the product searches, organizations are able to put features such as "most searched items" and/or "latest frame agreements" on their home page in order to improve the overall usability of the tool.
- The IBX search engine is compatible with all established procurement systems based on Open Catalog Interface (OCI) or Oracle Punchout.
- IBX Search Engine can load up to two million line items per hour without any slow down in search performance and without any downtime at all.
- Availability for the first four months of operations exceeded 99.9%.
- The IBX search engine will be delivered with a new content workbench to create and maintain the catalogue content. Existing catalogues can be easily migrated to the new framework.

write your comments about the article :: © 2008 Computing News :: home page