The new software also extends SAP enterprise search to connect to Web services. A generic Web service that invokes search services such as Google is included in the beta version, according to information obtained from the SAP Developer Network Web site.
Argo gives end users one central entry point to search company information from various data sources. With a single search query, users can use desktop widgets, browsers, e-mail and mobile devices to tap into company data from multiple sources.
"SAP Portal has been very successful and the search capabilities and use of the applications for displaying SAP data has been very much SAP-centric," said Matt Brown, a senior analyst in the Information Delivery Group at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. "I'm sure that customers are pushing SAP to extend search beyond SAP to other content around the enterprise."
Brown said that SAP may be building connectors to various data repositories rather than building out its own search appliance. Search capabilities in business software have captured a wide audience in recent years as companies race to provide tools that enable end users to search structured and unstructured company data in the same way they search for data on the Internet.
Historically, all application vendors have had built-in search capabilities that offer end users the ability to search within a context of specific applications. According to Brown, though, the success of Google and other large search vendors has pushed business software vendors to move beyond structured and unstructured data to sources outside the company walls.
"What was once search tools that served to search data stored within the context of an application and data store now is being pushed outside of that context, outside of the file systems and other data sources," Brown said.
SAP may be enhancing its Trex search system, a search engine technology embedded in NetWeaver that creates search indices of structured and unstructured data.
Microsoft unveiled new search tools last week that manage end-user searches on company data in multiple locations. Code-named "OneView," Microsoft's search capabilities meld Windows Desktop Search, Intranet search through SharePoint, and Internet search.
In March, Oracle Corp. released similar search capabilities called "Oracle Secure Enterprise Search 10g." IBM also offers enterprise search capabilities it calls "Omnifind," which combines a recent acquisition of iPhrase into its WebSphere platform.
The Argo Beta Release will be made available at the SDN Web site after the Sapphire user conference in Paris, according information at the SDN software download page. It may be offered in Paris with a 90-day evaluation license that does not allow commercial use, and has restrictions regarding stability, support, and features, according to the SDN site.