Thursday, June 5, 2008

Interwoven Express Search and Worksite 8.3 Update

The document management system is the assembly line of large law firms. We sell our knowledge to our clients. But we package and deliver a lot of that knowledge in documents. I keep a close eye on the document management system to make sure it is keeping pace and hoping that it will show some functional improvements in this 2.0 world.

Our document management system vendor, Interwoven, has been throwing out some good ideas on how they are going to improve their product. Back in February, we ran a quick test of Interwoven's new Express Search tool: Interwoven Express Search = WOW!! Last month I presented a Case Study on Worksite 8.3.

After a lot of load testing, checking configurations and hardware upgrade, we sat down to test them again.

The concept is still great. They stripped the cranky old search engine and plugged in a fancy new search engine from Vivisimo. They also combine several of the metadata fields into one search box, so you get a much more Google-like search. The search is still very fast.

In our current tests we ran into a lot of issues. We are still trying to figure out if is our problem or Interwoven's problem or some combination of both. These were the problems:
  1. Multiple Versions. If there are multiple versions of the documents (which almost always the case for our important documents) each version comes back in the search result as a separate item. Our prior configuration was just a single entry for the multiple versions.

  2. Document ID. One of the core functions of a document management system is the fetch search. You enter a single unique document identifier and that one document is returned. We operate with multiple document libraries, so our document identifier numbers are only unique in each library. The identifier will be in the system multiple times, but can be limited by library. With DeskSite product from Interwoven, the search results show the document library so you can easily distinguish the document you are fetching for. In Express Search, the search results merely show the document application symbol and document name. That means you can't distinguish the document from the list presented. This is especially problematic when you combine this the multiple version problem. Today we had a new problem. When we search by placing the document ID in the Express Search window, the search just fails to return results.

  3. Exact Phrase. Putting quotes around a phrase is a powerful search technique. For some reason two word phrases worked fine, but three or more words in the phrase failed. "one two" works but "one two three" does not.

  4. Three Letter Words. The search engine seems to ignore words with three letters or less. When the three (or two) letter word is put in quotes to search for a phrase, the search fails.

  5. Wild cards with numbers. We configured the application to automatically put wildcards around searches in DeskSite. 1995 proxy fails.

  6. Differences Between Data Miner and Express Search. A search for "1995 Proxy" worked in Express Search, but not in Data Miner.
Some of these problems may be easy to fix configuration issues. Or they may be a systematic problem with the new tools. Either way, we are probably pushing back the deployment date for Worksite 8.3. That also means we are pushing back the deployment date for the Matter Centricity tools as well.


  1. First off Great Blog, Great Content

    We are new to Interwoven and the Express Search is a feature that helped me sell the product to the firm. Yet I'm waiting to deploy 8.3 until these issues are resolved. Have you had any feedback from interwoven on these items? Do you have any sence as to when/if they might be resolved?

  2. I think Worldox is much more user friendly than Interwoven Worksite. I miss some of the features that Worldox has, especially when opening a work space and a folder and then not being able to use quick pic which you could type in the first few letters of the document you needed and it would take you to that document. No matter what improvements are made to Interwoven it will never surpass Worldox.


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