Cleveland, Ohio, April 25, 2005 -- Thunderstone Software has announced a major step forward in the enterprise search market. It is the first search appliance vendor to offer comprehensive administrative access controls for distributed management.

The new capability extends Thunderstone's technical leadership in turn-key search solutions. The breakthrough allows departmental administrators to control their own subsets of a Thunderstone Search Appliance enterprise index.

Thunderstone's innovation is conceptually simple, but underneath is an advanced permissions management database. It enables a top-level administrator to delegate Search Appliance control privileges to any number of other managers. Each manager receives whole or partial responsibility for one or more document indexes, and has access only to those specific controls.

Security features are key to making distributed management possible. Search Appliance sub-administrators cannot interfere with other managers' indexes or settings. Controls are accessed from a secure web page.

"This is a major advance in the enterprise search space," said John Turnbull, Thunderstone general manager. "Distributed management, with its associated security, is crucial to many enterprise search situations. Thunderstone is proud to be the first search appliance vendor to offer administrative access controls."

Thunderstone's innovation solves a key problem in indexing across multiple web sites or file servers: Typically, each department administrator - not an enterprise level manager - knows which departmental content should be included in the enterprise index. Equally important, department administrators know which content should be excluded for reasons of confidentiality or security. But until now, they could not control the way an enterprise-level search appliance crawled their documents.

Using the new features, the top Thunderstone Search Appliance administrator may even give different controls to different sub-administrators. Example controls are: document file types; re-indexing schedule; category assignments; document inclusion/exclusion; and many other settings.

Separate indexes may be searched alone or combined into one or more "meta-searches." Thus there may be several different "views" of enterprise content. In a typical scenario, there are different but overlapping indexes for business partners, regular employees, and corporate management.

"And unlike other search appliance vendors, Thunderstone allows customers to index third-party information such as government or industry web sites," said Turnbull. "This policy enables enterprises to create unique targeted collections of web information for their users or for competitive intelligence."

Many other features of the Thunderstone Search Appliance are intended specifically for enterprise requirements. These include:

  • Files system crawling. File servers may be indexed directly without web server software.
  • Document-level security. Search results are limited to only items that each user has permission to read.
  • Mirroring. Organizations may maintain an optional redundant system.
  • Real-time indexing. Documents may be added to or removed from the index instantly.
  • Automatic scale-up. Larger document limits may be enabled by remote software upgrade or by adding appliances as needed.

Thunderstone Search Appliances scale up to handle collections with hundreds of millions of documents. The Appliances also provide excellent value. Example acquisition cost is $15,000 for a version to index 500,000 documents.

Thunderstone Software LLC is a pioneer of search engine technology, providing text retrieval products to industry, government, and educational institutions since 1981. Thunderstone's TEXIS text-relational database technology powers the Search Appliances, or may be licensed separately. The Appliances provide a "plug and play" search solution for intra-nets and web sites; index most document formats; and can be extensively customized by non-technical managers.

For more information, visit or call +1 216-820-2200. U.S. government customers may purchase Search Appliances through Thunderstone's GSA contract GS-35F-0914P.

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