search-based applications (SBAs) definition

Contributor(s): Lauren Horwitz

A search-based application (SBA) is a software program built upon a platform that's capable of decoupling data from its original source. Unlike traditional software applications that can only query content in a database, an SBA can query disparate structured, semi-structured and unstructured content sources and return the results of the query in a single, unified view.

Here is an example of how an SBA might be useful: An entrepreneur might use SBA portal software to create a website that allows visitors to search for an apartment. To add value, the portal assembles a full range of real estate options and price ranges. To achieve this, the search-based application queries content on apartments from multiple real estate sources, using semantic analysis to normalize the data from different sources. The application may also query geographic data sources to calculate the distances from each apartment to key points of interests such as schools, parks or transportation hubs.

In the enterprise, search-based applications can help employees take advantage of data that's available behind the firewall and on the Internet and make informed business decisions in real time, without needing to wait for another department to run a report. Among other things, SBAs can help with:

  • Information retrieval and management
  • Customer service and support
  • Sales account management
  • E-discovery
  • Product innovation



This was first published in March 2014

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