Fast Search & Transfer ASA

FAST Introduces a New Standard for Application-Based Search

    Oslo, Norway (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Enhanced Version of FAST InStream Offers ISVs Increased Performance,  Simple Integration Capabilities and Broadened Feature Set

    Fast Search & Transfer(TM) (FAST(TM)), (OSE: FAST, OTC: FASRF) the leading developer of enterprise search and real-time alerting technologies,  today announced the general availability of FAST InStream(TM) Version 4.2.  FAST InStream is an OEM-specific enterprise search solution developed  specifically to meet the complex application-based search requirements of  independent software vendors (ISVs). Significant enhancements have been made  to FAST InStream including comprehensive Web Services support, data management for hosted solutions to enhance and enable multi-tenant and ASP  models, and further improvement of its industry-leading performance.

    Application-based search is quickly becoming a must-have for most major technology segments. In many cases, applications are being built around enterprise search infrastructure - a reversal from search being viewed as a module or component. With the increasingly complex requirements of its partners in mind, FAST builds on its reputation for innovation with the release of version 4.2 of FAST InStream. A recent Delphi Group report summarizes the need for improved embedded search:

    "With the level of customer expectations about the quality of application-delivered search tools rising dramatically, developers of application software cannot avoid confronting the business choices presented by the need to maintain quality and innovation in the search facilities they provide."

    - Delphi Group Business Viewpoint, "New Focus on Application-delivered Search: Strategies for Effective Solutions in a Changing Market", May 2005.

    An effective OEM search offering must encapsulate a combination of innovative technology and the business infrastructure needed to build, deploy, and support solutions. These solutions must provide highly relevant results and support various language and document types. They must also offer search and navigation capabilities, entity extraction and information (data/text) mining, and scale to meet the demands of large end-users. Ultimately, these solutions must meet high-end performance requirements along three axes - document processing, query processing and query response time, while providing consistency within deployability, maintainability, and security standards. To support its OEM partners, FAST also offers dedicated engagement services, including a rapid integration team, OEM-specific Search Best Practices consulting, product training through FAST University and dedicated OEM sales and marketing teams.

    "As we continue to innovate our OEM offerings, FAST is focused on improving information access for existing application patterns and creating a basis for new revenue streams based on contextual analysis across structured and unstructured content repositories," said Bj0rn Olstad, chief technology officer at FAST. "Our focus on and passion for enterprise search allows us to consistently push the limits of information access and retrieval. Our OEM solution is among our most sophisticated and robust products due to the broad functionality requirements of partners ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar ISVs and due to the intensive testing that must be performed to make this a market-ready solution."

    New FAST InStream features include:

    - FAST Web Service - the FAST Web Service is offered in two versions, Java and ASP.NET, allowing for easy integration with both J2EE- and Microsoft-oriented application server containers. The FAST Web Service is a powerful tool for integrators who seek to use FAST InStream to provide a remote search service to the widest range of client applications.

    - Enhanced data management for hosted solutions to enhance and enable multi-tenant and ASP models. This feature also delivers cost savings by enabling more differentiated back-up schemes.

    - Performance improvement up to 40% on document processing.

    - Enhanced data mining using FAST Scope Search(TM) and inclusion of entity extraction technology. These capabilities leverage FAST's extensive knowledge and use of schema-independent XML for rich analysis of documents.

    - Migration toolkit - simple migration from prior versions of FAST's OEM solution.

    - Greater language support - full-text search support, including language detection, tokenization, and support for all major character encodings for 77 languages; advanced linguistics for 25 languages.

    - Expanded platform support - added support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 and Solaris 10 for SPARC, further expanding the industry's broadest array of supported platforms.

    - Enhanced SDK - includes full documentation on new features, additional deployment and configuration options, additional software code examples, and a rich set of APIs for Java, .NET and C++.

    - Broadened document format support - over 370 document file formats are now supported by FAST InStream.

    "Application-based enterprise search technology is critical to the ongoing success of Siebel's product strategy. In FAST, we have found the right partner for that technology," commented Skip Bacon, Vice President of Technology at Siebel Systems. "FAST's sophisticated platform and rapid innovation continue to impress our team; these critical aspects are particularly well illustrated by the broad platform support and Web Services integration capabilities that FAST offers."

    FAST InStream is designed to increase the value of enterprise applications and boost ROI for the partner's customers by leveraging the power of FAST Enterprise Search Platform (FAST ESP(TM)) technology. Supporting both structured and unstructured data, FAST InStream provides unique value across all types of software applications, including enterprise portals and intranet sites, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, Business Intelligence (BI) suites and applications, as well as storage and archiving solutions.

    The open and modular architecture of FAST InStream provides partners the utmost flexibility when deploying embedded search technology - from specialized search applications to complete multilingual enterprise search functionality supporting 77 languages. FAST's innovative OEM search solution enables new functionality within their solutions by leveraging the power and flexibility of the FAST InStream architecture. Further, partners that deploy FAST InStream as an embedded component of their solutions can deliver immediate benefits to their customers through improved application search and contextual navigation functionality, or by adding search as an entirely new component of their solution and breaking new ground in their market.

    FAST has transformed enterprise search from a powerful, yet narrowly perceived function, into an enterprise-wide strategic and tactical capability of pivotal importance. FAST ESP, FAST InStream and FAST's portfolio of solutions and Search Derivative Applications (SDAs) supply a complete information retrieval solution ideal for a growing number of key vertical markets and applications including e-Commerce and Internet Portals, Financial Services, Government, Life Sciences, Media and Publishing, and Telecom. For FAST, the search never stops.

    About FAST

    FAST creates the real-time search and filter technology solutions that are behind the scenes at the world's best known companies with the most demanding search problems. FAST's flexible and scalable integrated technology platform elevates the search capabilities of enterprise customers and connects people to the relevant information they seek regardless of medium. This drives revenues and reduces total cost of ownership by effectively leveraging IT infrastructure. FAST's powerful enterprise search technology solutions are used by more than 2,000 global customers and partners, including America Online (AOL), AT&T, Cardinal Health,, Chordiant, CIGNA, CNET, Dell, Factiva, Fidelity Investments, Findexa, IBM, Knight Ridder, LexisNexis, Overture, Rakuten, Reed Elsevier, Reuters, Sensis, Stellent, Tenet Healthcare, Thomas Industrial Networks, T-Online, US Army, Virgilio (Telecom Italia), Vodafone, and Wanadoo.

    FAST is headquartered in Norway and is publicly traded under the ticker symbol 'FAST' on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The FAST Group operates globally with presence in Europe, the United States, Asia Pacific, Australia, South America, and the Middle East. For further information about FAST, please visit

    (c) 2005 Fast Search & Transfer ASA - Fast Search & Transfer, FAST, FAST ESP, FAST Data Search, FAST Marketrac, FAST AdVisor, FAST InStream, FAST ImPulse, FAST mSearch, FAST ProPublish and the FAST four-colored logo are trademarks of Fast Search & Transfer ASA. All rights reserved. FAST disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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