After the collapse of the economy two years ago, a market force took effect that has led to the "cratering," of a small but telling sector of the enterprise search market.
The story demonstrates how open-source technologies are now more than alternatives for enterprise search. They are the norm.
Hadley Reynolds, a senior analyst at IDC, said in a presentation last week at Lucene Revolution that the enterprise "OEM" search market is expected to drop from more than $100 million in 2007 to $50 million by 2011. The market has traditionally included companies such as Autonomy and FAST, which was sold to Microsoft and is now integrated with Sharepoint.
"We see the OEM search market as essentially cratering," Reynolds said.
Reynolds says the OEM search software license revenue has been declining, in part due to the increasing adoption of Lucene by independent software vendors. He also attributes the decline on other market factors such as Microsoft's decision not to further advance the FAST OEM search product after acquiring that company in 2008.
Reynolds said that In its wake, the enterprise is adopting open-source technologies such as Lucene.
Lucene has risen considerably in popularity. It is now a top 5 Apache project. It has more than 7,000 downloads per day.
The recession has accelerated adoption and is also largely responsible for the fall of the enterprise sector for embedded search technologies.
Hadley said with the shift there are some trends to follow.
There will be a continued commoditization in search technologies as open-source grows in popularity.
The diaspora will continue. Open-source search will spread across applications.
Search-based applications are the growth engine going forward. They will be specific to a domain or business problem.
What's to come? Analytics, better geospatial applications and extension with services such as Hadoop.
This is a wide open market. Apps need search, especially if they leverage big data.
All in all it is shaping up to be a pretty decent opportunity for those who develop apps with open-source technologies such as Lucene and Solr.