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In the IT realm, we have all heard the word "unified" over and over again. There’s unified communications, unified storage, unified management and so on, but the one area that can benefit the most from unification is search.

The complexity of today’s applications, storage technologies and operating systems has left data scattered all around enterprises, large and small. Add to that the amount of information housed on the Web and it is easy to see how locating that important bit of information has become a lot harder than finding your misplaced car keys.

Sure, there are a lot of search technologies available today: Windows Vista offers search right from the start menu; Google offers a desktop application for searching. The list goes on and on. The big problem is that today’s search technologies are a lot like potato chips—you can’t have just one, at least until now.

Gaviri Technologies is looking to shake up the whole search world with Gaviri Universal SearchOS, an application that brings unified search to the desktop and across the enterprise. The key here is to note the "SearchOS" part of the product name, because the product does sort of work like its own little operating system.

Once installed, Universal SearchOS builds an index of all files, e-mails and any other data elements stored on the local PC. The product will search through zip files or other compressed file types, PST files, databases and so on. While the level of indexing is somewhat impressive, the capability to index the whole PC is a basic requirement for any search technology, but Universal SearchOS doesn’t just stop with the desktop.

Universal SearchOS trumps the other search products with its ability to auto index any connected storage device, ranging from USB thumb drives, to SD Cards to remote shared folders to CDs. Simply put, if the PC can see the stored data, Gaviri Universal SearchOS will add it to the index.

For example, if a user has some documents stored on a USB thumb drive, once that drive is plugged into the Gaviri equipped system, all of the data will be added to the index. Users can then choose to use the volume name to identify the USB thumb drive, or give the device a unique name for indexing purposes. The same process can be used for any storage element including CDs, network shares and pretty much anything the user can access.

What’s more, Universal SearchOS also includes the ability search Web sites. Users can work with some predefined Web site searches, such as ones for LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace, or users can create nested searches that include results from Google, MSN Search and Yahoo. Users also have the ability to create custom Web site searches.

In that case, a user will create a custom search using a wizard, which reaches out to the search engine on the target Web site. That way, any search initiated will include results from everything that has been indexed, along with any pertinent content found out on the included Web sites.