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The Duke Office of Information Technology (OIT) has purchased and installed a Google Search Appliance and will be deploying it as the search solution for all of www.duke.edu on July 1st, 2003. There are both benefits and concerns of which you should be aware.
Currently (since to July 1, 2003) Duke University uses a Google GB-5005 Search Appliance - licensed and run by OIT - as the primary engine for searches on the Duke web domain. This can be accessed from the search box on the Duke home page and the "Search Duke" box on many other high-level pages. In addition, the search appliance has the ability to index other departmental sites, providing these departments with a customized search solution. The Computer Science department has such an index, created by the search engine; this capability will provide many benefits, but there will also be some changes that will require us to reconsider some of our assumptions about access restrictions. Please read below for more details.
Because the search engine indexes sites from within the Duke network, it may unintentionally defeat certain access controls web page maintainers have put in place when distributing confidential or otherwise limited-access materials on the web. All users who provide such material should read how to limit access by the Duke/OIT Web Crawler FAQ to learn how to secure your online materials.
Google is a popular web search engine because their technology provides useful results, and they cover a large portion of the Web. Yet, Duke's current use of the free search capability provided by Google includes some inherent limitations. These include:
With the new search appliance - a hardware and software solution located at Duke - we should see these benefits:
These benefits should hopefully outweight most of the initial re-engineering pain that we will experience in adjusting to this new system.
As seen on the CS web pages, you can include a search box on your own page by inserting the correct code on your web page. Searches can include the entire Duke collection, or be limited to just the CS web site.
The Office of Web Services (part of OIT) now has a web page that discusses various aspects of the Google Search Appliance, available at: