Food and Drug Administration and the Google Search Appliance
Overview The FDA is a scientific, regulatory and public health agency that works to ensure the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, U.S. food supply, and cosmetics. The FDA’s regulations serve to make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable. The agency also is responsible for informing the public with accurate information on medicines and foods. From its start with a single chemist in 1862, today the FDA has a budget of more than $1.25 billion and nearly 10,000 employees.
Since 1995, the FDA’s technology partner, GlobalNet Services, Inc. (GNSI) has worked with organizations to define, develop and implement web-based applications and integrated systems. Over this period GNSI has worked with the FDA on projects including the online processing of food facility registrations, the creation of an agency portal promoting scientific collaboration and supporting the FDA’s Internet and intranet presence.
The Challenge GNSI’s relationship with Google began in 2000, when the firm integrated Google’s Hosted SiteSearch service with FDA’s Internet site, fda.gov, to replace an older search solution. “We were very happy with Google’s hosted service because of its relevance and ease of use," recalls Ori Reiss, GNSI President and CEO. Then Google released the Search Appliance in 2002, and told us that hosted service customers would need to migrate to the Appliance. Since we were satisfied with the hosted service, we were concerned that the Appliance would be as good as the Google hosted service. It turned out that the Appliance proved to be just as powerful, but was less expensive, and gave us more control."
Results Today the FDA’s Google Search Appliance crawls one million documents across fda.gov. Reiss says that both citizens and the FDA staff, who make heavy use of the public site, “are very positive” about having Google as the Internet search provider. “The Google name is tantamount to quality,” says Reiss, “and we are seeing consistently improved stability and reliability in the search function.” The Google Appliance provides “much better speed and accuracy in search results,” and likes the fact the GNSI team can customize the look and feel of the interface for the FDA.
As a technology solutions provider, GNSI is also pleased with how little it takes to operate the Google Search Appliance. “There was not much to do to get the crawl up and running,” Reiss recalls. GNSI configured the Search Appliance and DNS in such a way that indexing bandwidth is also very low. "We provided indexing rules, defined the Collection definition and Keymatches," he recalls. "We also configured it to allow sorting by date of search results, and customized the look and feel of the search results for FDA requirements."
About GlobalNet Services, Inc.
GlobalNet Services, Inc. (GNSI)
(www.gnsi.com) is a leading digital solutions provider that helps
technology in pursuit of their business goals. GNSI works with
clients to define, develop, and implement the web-based applications,
integrated systems, and creative media they need to achieve competitive
advantage. Since 1995, GNSI has been helping clients like the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health,
the Johns Hopkins University, and McKesson increase revenue,
reduce costs, enhance productivity, and improve customer service.
GNSI is based in Rockville, MD.
About the Google Search Appliance The Google Search Appliance is an integrated corporate search solution that extends Google’s award-winning search technology to intranets and websites. The Google Search Appliance is available in three models: the GB-1001 for departments and mid-sized companies; the GB-5005 for dedicated, high-priority search services such as customer-facing websites and company-wide intranet applications; and the GB-8008 for centralized deployments supporting global business units. For more information, visit http://www.google.com/enterprise/gsa/.