One of Google’s first hardware products was its search appliance, a custom-built server that allowed businesses to bring Google’s search tools to the data behind their firewalls. That appliance is no more, but Google today announced the spiritual successor to it with an update to Cloud Search. Until today, Cloud Search only indexed G Suite data. Now, it can pull in data from a wide variety of third-party services that can run on-premise or in the cloud, too, making the tool far more useful for large businesses that want to make all of their data searchable by their employees.
“We are essentially taking all of Google expertise in search and are applying it to your enterprise content,” Google said.
One of the launch customers for this new service is Whirlpool, which built its own search portal and indexed over 12 million documents from more than a dozen services using this new service.
“This is about giving employees access to all the information from across the enterprise, even if it’s traditionally siloed data whether that’s in a database or a legacy productivity tool and make all of that available in a single index,” Google explained.
To enable this functionality, Google is making a number of software adapters available that will bridge the gap between these third-party services and Cloud Search. Over time, Google wants to add support for more services and bring this cloud-based technology on par with what its search appliance was once capable of.
The service is now rolling out to a select number of users and over time, it’ll become available to both G Suite users and as a stand-alone version.