As of January, 2012, this site is no longer being updated, due to work and health issues

Search Tools Reports

Search Engines for Intranets
and Enterprise Information Portals (EIPs)



In the Old Days (the 1980s), corporations, governments and other institutions installed internal networks using complex protocols that were very expensive to implement, hard to use, incompatible with everything else and ugly. With the rise of the Internet and later the Web, these institutions adopted the simpler standard protocols for their internal networks. In parallel with the "Internet", these were named "Intranets".


Web "portals" such as Excite and Yahoo! were originally developed from the need to locate web pages on particular topics. Excite, AltaVista, HotBot and MSN all have search engines at their core, while Yahoo! and LookSmart are based on directories: listings of web pages organized by topic, with search access. While many of these incorporate email, news, shopping and discussion groups, search was and still is the core function of a portal.

Enterprise Information Portals (EIPs)

Enterprise Information Portals provide a starting point for people to access information and applications on the entire Intranet. They generally include a search engine for locating internal and external information; security features, so a person only has to use a single password; personalization so they get appropriate information; access to databases and enterprise applications; and so on.

EIPs are starting to create categories or taxonomies of information, and using them with full-text searching to make the most effective presentation of relevant results (see our report on classification) and provide alerting services using information filtering to watch for news and other incoming information of interest.

Just like web portals, enterprise information portal users are heterogeneous, so one approach will not apply to them all. They also have different requirements at various times and areas, so a programmer would want precise retrieval options for code library documentation, but simpler tools for finding corporate policy on parental leave.


Intranet / EIP resources

Page Updated 2005-12-15