SAP plans to launch the result of its Project Argo enterprise search extension as a composite application enabling
end-users to conduct extensive searches in SAP applications as easy as using Google.
The application will extend enterprise search capabilities beyond the company walls to employees using a mobile device, a Web browser or desktop widget, or Microsoft Outlook.
The Argo application will sit atop NetWeaver and use its indexing capabilities called Text Retrieval and Classification (TREX), said Dennis Moore, general manager of emerging systems at SAP. It can be integrated with other SAP applications allowing an SAP end-user to get quick answers out of SAP via a desktop widget, a Web browser, or a mobile device, Moore said.
"Argo is completely open-ended and extensible. It will allow you to connect to other search services or other kinds of [application programming interfaces]," Moore said in an interview with SearchSAP.com. "Anything that can be queried through an API or Web service can be queried through Argo."
SAP quietly released a beta version of Argo on DVD to a select number of customers at its Sapphire '06 user conferences in Orlando, Fla., and its International user conference in Paris. A forum at the SAP Developer Network (SDN) Web site also contained a link to a download page that SAP said would be made available to subscribers after its Sapphire event. SearchSAP has a screenshot of the Argo download page.
Moore said current enterprise searches yield too many results, but Argo enables end users to conduct more specific searches using search strings for better, granular results.
"We're offering a way to be very specific about what you are looking for without having to conduct an advanced search," Moore said.
SAP also envisions Argo extending to the new Duet software, launched last month. Duet, which was jointly developed with Microsoft, melds some SAP transactions into Microsoft Outlook. Argo would also be a part of the new Muse graphical interface unveiled this year at Sapphire.
"We would see Argo integrated into Duet by being able to search directly from Duet and leveraging the Argo service," said Kevin Fliess, vice president of product marketing for emerging solutions at SAP.
Argo can be embedded inside all SAP applications, providing a standard search functionality in front of end users. For example, a sales associate can search for customer details, including payment history, directly inside an SAP CRM application, without interrupting the main flow of the application, Moore said.
SAP will also use Argo to extend search beyond the company walls, according to Moore. Mobile devices including BlackBerrys can be embedded with Argo search capabilities, he said.
Generic Web services that invoke search services such as Google will be released and will extend Argo beyond SAP applications. Legacy systems and third party applications will also be supported, Moore said.
"All you have to do is substitute out the Web service call we're doing," Moore said. "You don't have to rewrite the query interface or the output formatting."
SAP has been using Argo internally for some time and has even linked it to external search services such as Google News, eBay Auctions, and other proprietary interfaces, Moore said. Argo also enables customers to develop mashups—which meld search results, such as product locations, within a Google map.