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Fuzzy Matching Solution for Fast Search For SharePoint 2010

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  • Service Type:

    Consulting, Professional Service
  • Business Need:

    Business Process Management
  • Works With:

    Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Industry Focus:

    General - Applicable to All

Search engines, especially FAST Search for SharePoint (FS4SP), are excellent at searching for words or phrases in a massive body of content. When those words are slightly misspelled, the engine can suggest corrections based on a dictionary. However, for custom content that does not exist in a dictionary, and for keywords that are malformed or corrupted, the engines are not optimized to perform “close” matches – matches where a word is almost, but not quite, the word that exists in the content.
Several areas of business suffer from the problem of trying search through a store of information with incorrect, or ‘corrupted’ keywords. Examples include data capture applications, where clerks are required to hand-capture large volumes of information such as customer records, (making inevitable keystroke errors); scanning and OCR applications, where words are recognized as being close to, but not exactly, the intended word (for example ‘Joln’ instead of ‘John’); mismatched disparate systems, where one system may store a customer as “Smith, John” and the other as “J Smith”, etc.
In these cases, being able to compare the input keywords, no matter how distorted, to an existing database of “customers” or “products” will help to correct the information. Unfortunately, search engines are not designed to perform “almost” or “fuzzy” matches.
Intervate has created a solution to extend Fast Search for SharePoint that can import any database of business information, such as Sales Orders, Customers, Products, etc – and then provide the ability to search for the closest match to a word or name (or set of fields such as first name, last name and ID number), instead of exact matches (or even partial, or wildcard matches, which often only match the first or last part of a word). Because of the power of the FS4SP engine, the size of the database can grow to hundreds of millions of items without affecting the speed of the search. Searches return the closest match to the searched-for information, and a confidence level that indicates how close the match is to the search terms.

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