Search and navigation is the most important in online shopping. When a user searches for a given it is important that relevant products are shown to the user within a short period of time. This is what Endeca search does. It provides e-commerce site owners tools to help manage the search experience on their website.
What is Oracle Endeca?
The word Endeca means “to Discover”. Endeca, the company was founded in 1999, and it focusses mainly on –
- Enterprise search.
- Business intelligence.
In traditional e-commerce inventory query systems, you had to start at the top by selecting, say, men’s clothes or women’s clothes, then select from men’s trousers, men’s shirts, men’s coats and so on. Eventually, you’d get to the 36″ men’s trousers in black, but it was a very linear, and “guided” route through the data. Websites that used Endeca’s search technology, by contrast, presented a list of dimensions and attributes down one side, and the user could make any selection from them to narrow down their search. All of this happened lightening-fast, and with a back-end that was very easy for the customer to maintain.
So Endeca search focused on this e-commerce market first, and developed the MDEX engine to support this, marketing it as a column-store, rapid-development query engine that allows “faceted searches” across lots of different, “jagged” data sets (i.e. data sets that don’t have the same data model but with some commonality between them).
Oracle has lost its way. It has fallen behind the technology curve and failed to provide a compelling roadmap to address the new demands of digital retail. Endeca was originally an innovative, open platform built by some of the brightest engineers in the industry, but over the years Oracle has turned Endeca into a massive, rigid “black box” that’s limited in functionality, painfully hard to change, slow to deploy, expensive to maintain, and darn near impossible to innovate with.
If you are looking for an alternative to Endeca, you can have a look at Expertrec’s Endeca alternative.