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Using Search to Enrich Secure Data Repositories

  • October 01 2007, 1:00am EDT

REVIEWER: John C. Tredennick, CEO, Catalyst Repository Systems.

BACKGROUND: In today's world of rapidly growing digital content and highly distributed teams, corporations, insurers and law firms require powerful tools to take control of complex legal matters. Catalyst Repository Systems' secure Web-based repositories provide an alternative to traditional approaches - particularly when it's necessary to review large document collections or connect legal professionals in different locations. For more than a decade, Catalyst's repositories have been the choice of many of the world's largest corporations, insurers and law firms. Catalyst has pursued a path of constant innovation, and its offerings now include Catalyst XE, a secure Web-based extranet, Catalyst Review, a secure Web-based review workflow tool, and Catalyst CR, a secure Web-based data repository.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Advanced Red Hat Linux.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Litigation is on the rise, and corporations, insurers and law firms are in the thick of it. Large companies may be dealing with 125 cases at a time. It's not uncommon for corporate legal teams to wade into libraries of 30 million-plus documents, including emails and images. And attorneys' billing rates keep rising. So there is no shortage of economic reasons for the parties to find, retrieve, sort and share the exact data they need as fast as possible. At the same time, it must be simple to distribute the data and to enable collaboration online - all without compromising data security. It's also crucial to accommodate ongoing expansion of the data repositories.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: FAST InStream allows Catalyst CR to scale up to handle very large volumes of data. The system has been tested successfully across 15 million documents and routinely delivers search results in under a second. FAST InStream deploys easily with Catalyst's Web-based platform. Its open architecture standards, common platforms and standard operating systems also integrate readily with future versions of Catalyst CR. FAST InStream allows for a highly stable fault-tolerant deployment, which permits nonstop operation regardless of load. The technology's clustering capabilities allow key concepts to be listed. Search toolsets speed up review time considerably. Remote indexing facilities are in reach. FAST's multiple-language capability helps Catalyst CR to easily service businesses whose activities span the globe. It supports more than 70 languages, including those with multibyte character sets.

STRENGTHS: FAST InStream helps accelerate searches, refine queries, retrieve data in the most accessible formats and be capable of continuously scaling up. FAST's InStream technology routinely delivers search results in under a second, even when faced with multiple queries against a database of 15 million documents. FAST InStream accommodates native document formats, supports multiple languages and has advanced features, such as navigators and pattern displays, which will enable attorneys to review documents faster.

WEAKNESSES: Because FAST InStream provides an expansive and rich feature set, there may be implementation challenges when configuring the right balance of core requirements.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose FAST InStream for a number of reasons. It could handle complex searches involving thousands of terms - fields, ranges, proximity and text - in seconds. The ability to index on the fly while delivering search results meant that we could provide continuous uptime. The grid configuration allowed us to scale without practical limits so that we could support the largest legal and compliance matters in the nation. FAST InStream works on different levels of expertise, and the customer/partner support system helps to meet demands and is a true partnership. We needed a business model that fit well with our platform and completely integrated into our business model.

DELIVERABLES: FAST InStream helps teams of professionals manage large volumes of electronic documents and collaborate effectively on complex legal, financial and business matters.

VENDOR SUPPORT: FAST provided implementation consultants that helped us get up to speed on a complex product. When we have had problems, and every product does, we have been supported by FAST across the globe.

DOCUMENTATION: A complex high-end system requires more than documentation, and FAST could certainly provide additional materials on all aspects of installing and managing the product. However, the documentation was as good as we have seen for similar products, arguably better.

FAST InStream 4.2
FAST Search and Transfer
117 Kendrick Street
Needham, MA 02494
(781) 304-2400

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