Terminology Overview

Watson™ Explorer Engine offers a rich and robust environment for developing search applications that will fit your organization's specific needs. Along with this comes some new terms and phrases that will be unfamiliar to a new user, but that do help better communicate the needs your organization has, and the solutions that will help it grow.

Admin Tool
Generic ways of referring to the web-based administration tool through which Watson Explorer Engine can be configured and modified, and in which all IBM documentation is traditionally presented. As a web-based application, this tool is independent of any specific application infrastructure and imposes no desktop software requirements other than a web browser.
User-defined portions of a Watson Explorer Engine software project that can monitor one or more information sources and will send email messages to specified users when certain aspects of the information source(s) change. Alerts can be triggered on changes to or new content by a specific author; software (an Author Alert); to new content at one or more remote information sources (a Basic Alert); to new clusters that are available in the results retrieved from one or more remote information sources (a Cluster Alert); or to user-defined changes in the results retrieved from one or more remote information sources. Watson Explorer Engine enables you to define the frequency with which information sources(s) are automatically checked.
A portion of the Watson Explorer Engine software that provides access to an online information resource. In the context of a Meta-Search, a Source acts as a connector to a remote search engine through the parser that the source provides. In the context of the Watson Explorer Engine search engine, a connector typically consists of the sequence of operations necessary to extract information from secure resources such as database systems, online and archival email systems, content management systems, various groupware platforms, and so on. Watson Explorer Engine provides a number of off-the-shelf connectors, but also makes it easy to create custom connectors for complex or site-specific information sources. Like sources, connectors can be susceptible to changes in the query syntax or format required by a remote content source, but can be scheduled for automatic testing within Watson Explorer Engine in order to ensure their correctness. In general, support for creating custom connectors enables your Information Optimization application to connect to any content source.
Mechanisms that can be defined within Watson Explorer Engine to take an input document in one format and convert it to another so that it can be indexed, reprocessed, or displayed. For example, Watson Explorer Engine can read documents in formats such as PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, HTML, and so on, and can convert them into XML text for indexing and display purposes. Typically, Watson Explorer Engine Connectors retrieve data from remote information sources for processing by Watson Explorer Engine converters.
The portion of a Watson Explorer Engine search application that controls the appearance and layout of the web pages used to submit a query to a Watson Explorer Engine search application, and to interact with the search results. Watson Explorer Engine displays are created within the Watson Explorer Engine administration tool and can be modified by adding components, modifying settings, and writing XSL code.
Query Routing
Combining search results retrieved from multiple search engines, including the Watson Explorer Engine search engine, into a single, ranked set of query results. Integrating search results from the Watson Explorer Engine search engine into a federated search enables you to combine search results from your own information sources, such as databases, document and email archives or retrieval systems, and so on, with search results retrieved from remote search engines. The phrase "Query Routing" is often used interchangeably with the term Meta-Search. See Authentication, De-Duplication, and Query Transformation for information about special concerns when performing a federated search.
Results Module
Results Module features user-friendly controls for business users, content owners and knowledge workers, so that they may optimize the way content is displayed and shown within the Watson Explorer Engine interface. With Results Module, administrators can create, modify and manage terms and their relationships (synonyms, related terms, acronyms, etc.), place a spotlight on important results, and much more.
Knowledge Base
Defines how specific terms are handled during indexing, key matching, or when clustering the search results returned by a query. The terms in a knowledge base can include source specific stopwords, stopphrases, stemmer corrections, synonyms, and other rules that will determine whether two words should be in the same cluster. The term stoplist is an internal Watson Explorer Engine term used to describe the portions of a knowledge base that are related to stopping cluster creation.
The container in which a Watson Explorer Engine search application is created. Watson Explorer Engine search applications can reference remote search engines and other information sources, specially-defined sets of information sources, search collections created by the Watson Explorer Engine search engine, custom pre-processing for search queries, custom post-processing of search results, custom rendering and display characteristics for search results, and so on.

A project is the primary differentiator between any two Watson Explorer Engine installations.

An administrative capability in Watson Explorer Engine that enables users to display information about their Watson Explorer Engine installation (System reports) and search applications (Application reports). Watson Explorer Engine includes a number of pre-defined reports and also supports the creation of user-defined reports.

System reports provide information about the performance and status of system services such as the Alert, Reporting, and Scheduler services, information about Source testing, and system error and general status messages.

Application reports extract summary information such as the search terms sent to an application, the sources to which queries were submitted, the type and number of results retrieved, the frequency with which various clusters are selected, summary information about client browsers and operating systems, and so on.

Search Collection
One or more information sources and the online index created from them when the Watson Explorer Engine search engine crawls those sources. A search collection is seeded with sources such as the name of a directory in a file system that is mounted locally, SMB shares, URLs, databases, mail servers, Lotus Notes servers, Documentum Docbase(s), defect-tracking systems such as Bugzilla, and so on. A search collection is crawled when it is created (or at scheduled intervals) and only its index is consulted when it is queried. A Source is automatically created for each search collection to simplify submitting queries against that search collection.
Seed URL
The Uniform Resource Locator at which a remote crawl begins. A seed URL in Watson Explorer Engine can reference any supported protocol, such as file, http, smb, and so on.
The portion of a Watson Explorer Engine search application that identifies the location of some type of data that you wish to search and provides the configuration data required to connect to it and retrieve information. Watson Explorer Engine sources are created and configured in the Watson Explorer Engine administration tool.

Watson Explorer Engine sources define a specific online resource to which a user query can be submitted, how that query is submitted, and the way in which results returned from that resource are processed. Any web site, database, document or email repository, or other online resource can be used when defining a source in Watson Explorer Engine. Multiple sources can also be combined into a Source Bundle in Watson Explorer Engine in order to enable a single quto be submitted to multiple sources at the same time.

Source Bundle
A collection of existing sources and source bundles to which the same user query can be submitted. Each source in a source bundle transforms the query into the format required by that source and then submits it to that source. The results retrieved from all sources are then aggregated into a Query Routed Search.
Query syntax is the term used to describe the combination of words, keywords, and symbols that you can use when searching for words or phrases using any search application. Watson Explorer Engine can query search collections created with its search engine and can even query other search engines that may have their own unique interpretation of different keywords and symbols.