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Never one to shy away from a partnership when it improves the image of its products, Microsoft is happy to welcome Autonomy to the family of Enterprise Search Partners.Autonomy, most well known around these parts for being fans of digital copyright, brings their Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007. Through IDOL, Autonomy aims to provide a flexible framework for the management of structured and unstructured information across an enterprise. The advanced functionality required to build such a framework is made possible by the implementation of over 500 custom SharePoint Web Parts. So what do you get when you enhance the existing search functionality of MOSS with Autonomy's IDOL? The benefits include: * Mapped Security, delivering sub-document level security without requiring communication with the third-party content repository at query time * Modular, multi-threaded architecture to scale billions of documents and terabytes of information * Over 500 functions such as automatic hyperlinking, automatic categorization, and automatic profiling * Autonomy Federated Search for SharePoint, enabling customers to index and search all content inside and outside the SharePoint environment * Autonomy’s Connectors to over 1000 file formats including PDF and Blob (Binary Large Object) support, audio and video, as well as structured formats Now that we know the "what" and the "how", the obvious next question is "why": why would Microsoft choose to partner with Autonomy for enterprise search? The answer comes when you take a step back and look at the rapid growth of both MOSS users and deployments since its release on the enterprise content management market. In order to sustain that growth, Microsoft is looking to Autonomy and IDOL to provide much needed security (an area where Microsoft has traditionally struggled) and scalability. Although we may still question their support of digital copyright, it is hard to find fault in the decision to partner with one of the hottest products on the enterprise content management market. For more information on Autonomy, head on over to their website.