Magazine article Information Today

The Dialog Corporation Launches Intranet Toolkit

Magazine article Information Today

The Dialog Corporation Launches Intranet Toolkit

Article excerpt

Paula J. Hane, co-editor with Barbara Quint for NewsBreaks, is contributing editor of Information Today. Her e-mail address is paula.hane@cwix.com.

Longtime DIALOG users must have wondered about the direction of the company during the past few months, as they watched it roll out a comparison shopping service for consumers and buy into OfficeShopper, which lets businesses buy their office supplies. The first week of February we were informed of a "realignment" of its operations into three divisions that separated its core online search services from its Web initiatives (see the News-Break on page 1). The newly named Information Services Division (ISD) wasted no time in rolling out its latest product, just I week later, one aimed squarely at Dialog's core market of corporate information specialists. The product was initially launched in the U.S. and will be launched elsewhere in March.

The Intranet Toolkit enables information professionals in organizations to build customized search interfaces to search DIALOG for users on corporate intranets. The software allows information professionals to create interfaces either by using templates and ready-made search forms or by creating their own search forms. Complex search commands thus remain hidden to the end user. Over 200 search forms were created by Dialog's expert searchers and subject specialists, with some forms borrowed from other products, like DialogSelect. The Intranet Toolkit currently provides access to more than 300 DIALOG databases (out of the total of over 470 files).

"Intranet Toolkit gives information professionals the ability to fully leverage their expertise to create applications of unparalleled power and precision for their internal customers," said Jason Molle, Dialog's president of the Americas. "There is no doubt that intranets are an increasingly common part of organizational life. Recent findings from Zona Research indicate that at least 68 percent of U.S. businesses have installed intranets. Once installed, the intranet must be populated with content and useful applications for that investment to be realized. This, we believe, is where the information professional can utilize Intranet Toolkit to make a difference."

According to the company, with the Toolkit, information professionals can:

* Determine whether the user retrieves information in title, abstract, or full-text format

* Build Custom Search Forms, predefining search criteria and databases relevant to users' information needs, so they only have to perform simple keyword searches at the desktop

* Utilize more than 200 ready-made search forms

* Save the results of a search as a title list, allowing end users to retrieve the information they want directly from the screen

* Use the Saved Strategy tool to incorporate search strategies developed while using DIALOG or DialogWeb in custom information sites

* Develop "Hot Topic" sites from predefined searches, so users only have to click on an icon to retrieve up-to-date information on their areas of interest

* Set up targeted alert profiles

* Take advantage of extensive help topics, HTML templates, and Sample Sites provided in the Intranet Toolkit

* Build the site with organizational "look and feel," using the organization's Web style guide, terminology, and logos

Obviously, to take advantage of the Intranet Toolkit, an information professional needs to have an understanding of DIALOG's content and sophisticated searching techniques. …

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