Yesterday, at the AIIM International Exposition & Conference taking place in Boston (Mass), ISYS Search Software – a supplier of enterprise search solutions for business and government – announced the availability of ISYS:web and ISYS:sdk for the Linux operating system.

ISYS:web for Linux is a direct port of ISYS:web for Windows to the Linux platform and therefore transfers the majority of capabilities and supported file types to the new system. ISYS:web for Linux provides users with enterprise search functionality, such as automatic categorization and entity detection, while administrators can take advantage of controls that enable rapid implementation and instant monitoring of search trends and performance.  

ISYS:sdk for Linux provides software developers and system integrators with the ability to incorporate the power of the ISYS search API into custom applications and solutions, whether for commercial distribution or internal use. Over the years, ISYS has licensed its ISYS:sdk technology to a variety of organizations, including EMC Corporation, Autodesk and TOWER Software.

Recognising that over the years various legal IT vendors had tried, without much success, to generate interest in law firms over 'open source' alternatives to Windows, we asked Dave Haucke – the VP for global marketing at ISYS – whether he thought there was any demand for a Linux version? This is what he replied…

“Re your question about demand in the legal sector, the answer is we don't expect to generate too much demand directly from the legal firms themselves, but there are some exceptions to that outlook.

“1. Legal software vendors looking to embed best-of-breed search from a third party often offer both Windows and open source versions of their software. The problem we ran into in the past is these vendors (both inside legal and outside) wouldn't give us serious consideration with having just a Windows version … did them no good to integrate us only into their Windows apps. That right there was the primary motivator for us, since like you, we've never seen much value in offering an open source version otherwise. We can't turn away chunky OEM deals when they come calling. :)  This also relates to the point we made in the release about being ready for anyone hesitant over selecting FAST, MS or Autonomy. As you know, we're not trying to compete with FAST or Autonomy, but we are actively marketing our stuff as an effective and affordable short-term solution while companies wait and see what happens with the high end vendors.

“2. Law firms to some extent need this, and general counsel most definitely needs it. Think of the e-discovery scenario – you're tasked with indentifying and collecting information, some of which resides on open source systems. Now, ISYS has always been able to go out and get that stuff, but you've never been able to install us natively on a Linux box. So, from that standpoint, we reduce the headache somewhat by giving firms and GC a tool that can run natively, which means indexing and searching is faster, and the whole “pre-discovery” process is faster. Make sense?  I have a current real-world example of that with the firm Robins, Kaplan, et al in Boston. They're excited about the prospect of a Linux version for the very reason I cited above.”