Universal Searches

Written by Yvette Dubel
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In the information age, information overload is an actual possibility. The key to avoiding this is proper information management. This transforms mere data into assets.

The typical computer user today is receiving an ongoing influx of information from numerous sources. In addition to subscription information providers, there are also massive encyclopedias of text on CD-ROMs. In addition, input is offered from scanners depositing simplified data to collect business cards, periodical articles, books, and other hard copy data. Meanwhile, traditional documents like faxes, letters, and memos keep pouring in.

What it all has in common is the need to be organized. The text retrieval that most database users were dependent on was not developed to handle broad ranges in types of information. The job requires a flexible tool that can easily retrieve unstructured text.

Evolution

Today, users demand universal searches that can be applied across data formats. In addition, they expect solutions to deliver quantum results from any available database. The demand for information management tools that can deliver universal searching capabilities is clear.

One area where it has most notably evolved has been its ability to handle unstructured data. You don't have to pre-define field types or lengths. Easy-to-use entry forms also emerged to simplify this task for the user.

The ability to create reports with programming knowledge has also enhanced tools serving the demand for universal searching capabilities. This has made the sharing of information (or conclusions based on it) a considerably more streamlined process. The limitations of data format are little more than a historical footnote now that universal searches have escorted users into the next millennium.


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