Wednesday May 22, 2013

New MOS Search Engine

Nature photography, especially wildlife photography, is responsible for many of my vacation choices. Yellowstone National Park, sitting on a hot spot in the middle of a tectonic plate, not only has exceptional geologic features, but wildlife overflowing its boundaries -- wolves, bison, grizzly bears, black bears, elk. It's a photographer's paradise and we go about once a year, picking different seasons, to take advantage of Spring babies and the Autumn elk rut.

Late every afternoon, after a day of hiking, we search for wildlife. Rangers point us to sightings that might be interesting to photograph, and we look for the perfect spot to setup cameras and scope, as we wait for a hungry animal to follow its nose, to take home some tasty morsels to the little ones waiting patiently.

Sometimes we end up seeing nothing, or a small “dot” moving along the edge of the pines. But other times we hit the jackpot! Drama enfolds as a lone wolf  comes trotting through a pond, or an entire pack is on the hunt. And who can resist a mother black bear with tiny cubs no larger than a basketball, clumsily trying to make their way up a tree, afraid to fall.

If only we could find the animals without too much effort!

Introducing Oracle Knowledge

When it comes to finding the knowledge content needed to answer your questions about Oracle products, you use the search engine in My Oracle Support. You put in a few relevant terms and a list of articles, bugs, and other reference materials, is returned.

What goes into a search engine? How come you can find what you need (and more!) at Google, but sometimes it takes half a dozen different search strings to find an article in MOS that solves your problem?

A new search engine is headed down the pipe that incorporates intelligent searching. Oracle engineers have been testing and tuning "Oracle Knowledge" before its release to our Customers in MOS. Look for it sometime this summer.

Last Fall, we began the arduous process necessary to tame such a beast for external use. The Proactive Support team spent countless hours laying the groundwork for such a search engine to be released. Precision test cases were evaluated, a baseline for performance was struck, and acronyms and synonyms were developed until we all nearly lost consciousness!

Eventually, the new search engine was in place and the time came for me to perform the first of many new searches. Not expecting much, I tentatively reached for the "Search" button and…. BAM! My first hits were exactly what I had HOPED to see! I was so excited, I told my friends at home (but they weren’t as excited about it as I was).

This new search engine allows for grammatically rich search strings, processes natural language queries, so you will be able to search on "How do I do X?"

As yet, we don’t have a final interface, so no screen shots here. But stay tuned, because once we are finished testing and tuning it internally, it will become the MOS search engine. Prepare to be amazed!

When a steep hillside and thick underbrush separate us from an osprey nest, we enthusiastically put on our backpacks, carry 20 lbs of camera gear and stroll with great purpose beyond the parking lot, beyond those who will not venture into the wild, and (keeping our distance!) we watch in wonder at a small piece of the cycle that has repeated itself since time immemorial, across the globe -- parents and their young, home, food.

Having a way to directly find the wildlife would take some of the fun out of it for us, but we're betting that you will be happy that we have lightened your load, and that your searches will be amply rewarded with minimal effort.


P.S.  Have a question about what else we are working on? Let us know by posting a comment!


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