Some technology partnership announcements make complete sense. Others leave you scratching your head as you try to decide what these people were thinking.

The announcement that Lucid Imagination (news, site) and ISYS Search Software (news, site) have partnered to combine their search technologies is fortunately not the latter.

What's Coming Together

Lucid Imagination is a commercial company that offers support for users of the open source Apache Lucene and Solr search projects. ISYS Search Software builds the ISYS File Readers, which are a set of over 200 filters supporting over 60 languages that, together, can access just about every type of content and format available in the enterprise.

These readers can be embedded into custom solutions, making them easy to plug into an open source framework and extending ISYS' reach. According to Scott Coles, CEO of ISYS Search Software, “The Lucid Imagination team has some of the most well-known committers to the Lucene/Solr project, and it is clear they are one of the driving forces in the development and growing popularity of open source search."

Coles continues, "We see our partnership with Lucid Imagination as a key win and a strategic move that provides our customers with a wider, more robust range of development options for sophisticated information access, management and re-use.”

Why It Makes Sense

Trying to function in a digital environment with poor or non-existent search functions leads to serious productivity drain and frustration. Using this combination of technologies to index all of your unstructured data (documents, notes, e-mails, wikis and other content) is like offering a life vest to knowledge workers who are drowning, as they try to do their everyday work.

While ultimately having to rely on filters means that unsupported content types have to have new filters made for them, the technology involved in a completely filterless solution is complex, if even possible. This is a discussion that often comes down to the semantics of defining what a filter is. Having access to ready-made filters immediately extends Lucid's reach.

According to Eric Gries, CEO of Lucid Imagination, "The combination of ISYS File Readers and Lucene/Solr offers a best-of-breed solution for enterprises that do not want to be held back by lack of functionality and the high costs associated with proprietary search products from infrastructure and platform vendors."

Given today's focus on cost and the need for broad functionality, this solution might very well be a win-win.