Optimizely Graph was one of the highlights announced during Opticon 2023. Here's what you need to know about this new engine for advanced listing and machine learning-based smart search.
Optimizely Graph - Smart Search and Content Aggregation
Traditionally, the Search & Navigation engine (formerly known as "Find") has been the preferred choice for search functionality on an Optimizely website. Now, it faces strong competition from a new product:
Optimizely Graph is the new engine for smart search and content aggregation. In fact, it has been in the beta stage for quite some time under the name "Content Graph", and has only recently become commercially available. As the name suggests, Optimizely Graph utilizes GraphQL technology (Graph Query Language), which is a powerful API-based query framework, enabling all your applications to connect to Graph and query content in various forms. You can think of Graph as "Search As A Service." Optimizely Graph will be a licensed add-on service that you can order separately.
What sets Optimizely Graph apart from Search & Navigation?
Similar to Search & Navigation, one of the core features of Optimizely Graph is that it indexes all your content - including web content, documents, images/videos, and metadata. Graph analyzes and categorizes content using machine learning, so it effectively understands how each piece of content relates to other content and concepts.
- When Graph is used as a search engine, it means you're not as dependent on configuring synonyms, handling misspelled search terms, or creating manual relationships between content - Graph can grasp the intention behind the search and still present relevant content.
- When Graph is used as a content engine, it means you can create advanced aggregations, filterings and listings of related content and present them in numerous digital channels - from websites to mobile apps, newsletters, and information screens.
Another significant advantage of Graph is that the service doesn't run as part of the CMS, but rather as a standalone service in the CDN network layer, allowing it to respond rapidly to requests from all integrated systems. (CDN ensures that data requests are handled by the data center geographically closest to your location at any given time, significantly reducing response times.)"
Will Search & Navigation be discontinued?
No, the Search & Navigation product will continue to be developed and supported for all customers, at least for the foreseeable future. However, customers using Search & Navigation should strongly consider transitioning to Optimizely Graph due to the enhanced features and better performance that Graph offers.
Optimizely Graph provides similar functionality to Optimizely Search & Navigation but is technically different. Optimizely Graph is not intended to replace Optimizely Search & Navigation; it is a separate product that can also provide similar functionality to Optimizely Search & Navigation. Optimizely Graph offers faster performance and additional features, but you may not need to invest in additional features and performance gains, so Optimizely continues to support Optimizely Search & Navigation.
The benefits of an Optimizely Graph-based search service include:
- Faster search results
- Better error handling
- More flexibility over search logic
- Cross-application and cross-platform search capability