Mark Logic

Analysis of XML database/content management technology vendor Mark Logic and its Marklogic product line. Related subjects include:

April 4, 2010

Ike Pigott on the future of reporting

Ike Pigott argues that, as the number of conventional journalists plummets, corporations will have to hire their own “embedded” journalists to fill the void. Read more

November 19, 2008

More website weirdness

Here’s something longer-lasting and weirder than Vertica’s “We sell turkeys” theme: Mark Logic, whose product is used primarily to help enterprises make their content more acceptable, doesn’t have a search engine on its own website.* Read more

June 8, 2008

When just-in-time electronic documentation is a really good idea

Mark Logic basically makes an XML DBMS – confusingly called Marklogic without a space – optimized for document processing (including text search). Mark Logic’s main market is custom publishing – assembling documents on the fly, whether based on search or some other starting point.

Airlines put Marklogic to an interesting use: They create “electronic flight bags.” Apparently, flight crews typically carry a whole satchel of documents (flight bags) onto a plane, the precise contents of which frequently vary. Marklogic lets these be automatically generated in electronic form.

Well, in recent news it turns out that a $1.4 billion B-1 bomber crashed because a known prudent take-off/maintenance procedure hadn’t been followed. (Something about heating the components to evaporate water that otherwise destroyed the electronics.) This plane-saving had been discovered, but not propagated to all bases and maintenance crews responsible for the B-1. You think something like Marklogic might have helped? Read more

April 29, 2008

Mark Logic viewed as a different kind of text search technology vendor

I’m putting up two posts this morning on Mark Logic and its MarkLogic product family. The main one, over on DBMS2, outlines the technical architecture — focusing on MarkLogic as an XML database management system — and provides a bit of overall context. This post attempts to position MarkLogic against alternative kinds of text analytics engine.

For the most part, MarkLogic is indeed sold (and bought) for the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of text. (One long-confidential exception to this rule is scheduled to be unveiled at the June user conference.) Most applications seem to fit a custom publishing/enhanced search paradigm:

  1. Ingest text.

  2. Enhance it.

  3. Serve it up in chunks, typically via a sophisticated search interface.

Differences vs. conventional search engines include:

Mark Logic also claims huge advantages in corpus administration. Scalability seems good too; there’s a national-intelligence customer with a 200 terabyte database. And they’re proud of a feature called lexicons, although it seems so obvious to me that I’ve so far failed to muster what they’d probably regard as the proper level of excitement about it. (In SQL terms, it seems to be a combination of SELECT and COUNT DISTINCT, both of which are capabilities I’d think would be in XQuery anyway.)

November 1, 2007

What TEMIS is seeing in the marketplace

CEO Eric Bregand of Temis recently checked in by email with an update on text mining market activity. Highlights of Eric’s views include:

July 22, 2007

Text analytics marketplace trends

It was tough to judge user demand at the recent Text Analytics Summit because, well, very few users showed up. And frankly, I wasn’t as aggressive at pumping vendors for trends as I am some other times. That said, I have talked with most text analytics vendors recently,* and here are my impressions of what’s going on. Any contrary – or confirming! — opinions would be most welcome.

*Factiva is the most significant exception. Hint, hint.

If you think about it, text analytics is a “secret ingredient” in search, antispam, and data cleaning,* and this dominates all other uses of the technology. A significant minority of the research effort at companies that do any kind of text filtering is – duh — text analytics. Cold comfort for specialist text analytics vendors, to be sure, but that’s the way it is.

*I.e., part of the “T” in “ETL” (Extract/Transform/Load).

Text-analytics-enhanced custom publishing will surely at some point become a must-have for business and technical publishers. However, it appears that we’re not quite there yet, as large publishers make do with simple-minded search and the like. In what I suspect is a telling market commentary, there’s no headlong rush among vendors to dump text mining for custom publishing, notwithstanding the examples of nStein and (sort of) ClearForest. I don’t want to be overly negative – either my friends at Mark Logic are doing just fine or else they’re putting up a mighty brave front – but I don’t think the nonspecialist publishing market is there yet. Read more

March 21, 2007

Text Analytics Summit marketing panel: Membership firmed up

We’ve now solidified the membership of the Text Analytics Summit marketing panel. It is:

Michelle, Michel, and Mary are all obvious choices, responsible for marketing at leading text mining vendors. In addition, Mary has excelled on the same panel in the past, Michel sent me e-mail with some brilliant thoughts on the panel subject, and Attensity has one of the most interesting strategies in the text analytics market.

As for Dave — he’s simply one of the most astute marketing theorists working in software today. And he runs a very interesting text technology company. And he used to be most senior marketing guy in all of business intelligence, when he was SVP at Business Objects. In his copious free time, he writes a really cool blog.

December 27, 2006

Telling Attensity and ClearForest apart

So far as I can tell, Attensity’s strategy when the company was originally founded was rather like ClearForest’s strategy today – and vice-versa. That said, here’s where they seem to stand at this time:

Read more

October 3, 2006

Two own-dogfood text-based bug-tracking applications

Last July I wrote about Google’s text-based project management system. Dave Kellogg of Mark Logic offers links to discussion of a related Google project, and adds news of his own — Mark Logic built a text-based bug tracking system in its own MarkLogic technology.

August 26, 2006

Mark Logic and the custom publishing business

I talked again with Mark Logic, makers of MarkLogic Server, and they continue to have an interesting story. Basically, their technology is better search/retrieval through XML. The retrieval part is where their major differentiation lies. Accordingly, their initial market focus (they’re up to 46 customers now, including lots of big names) is on custom publishing. And by the way, they’re a good partner for fact-extraction companies, at least in the case of ClearForest.

Here, as best I understand, is the story of the custom publishing business. Read more

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