Key features include Natural Language Querying, integration with Watson Knowledge Studio, new connectors, and usability and performance enhancements
We’re excited to announce that IBM Watson Explorer v11.0.1 is now available and introduces a whole set of noteworthy new capabilities and enhancements. Watson™ Explorer v11.0.1 expands the key cognitive search capabilities and enables users to:
- Search naturally using everyday language with Natural Language Query module.
- Improve search results without manual oversight using unsupervised machine learning algorithms
- Annotate and enrich data with domain models that can be rapidly developed on the cloud using IBM Watson Knowledge Studio.
- Receive proactive notifications for saved search queries whenever the underlying dataset changes.
- Measure search and usage of unified information applications with out-of-the-box reports.
- Connect to new and updated data repositories such as IBM WebSphere Portal Server and IBM Web Content Manager
- Productivity and security enhancements.
Watson Explorer + Watson Knowledge Studio
An integration with IBM’s Watson Knowledge Studio (a new offering, pending general availability (GA) to be released on June 27, 2016) allows users to leverage state-of-the-art, unsupervised machine learning techniques for rapid development of custom annotators. Users can then use these annotators in Watson Explorer. This new integrated approach provides significant improvements in time-to-value, and enables developers and subject matter experts to use their own expertise to discover insights more quickly and easily than ever before.
Better Natural Language Querying Capabilities
With regards to the Foundational Components (FC), Watson Explorer introduces Natural Language Querying (NLQ) – a natural language and machine learning-based approach for performing information queries. The approach is radically different from the traditional keyword and semantic searches. It is easier to use and allows for imprecise questions, while the quality of the results increases by an impressive 40 percent. *
The NLQ feature is implemented as a standalone service that integrates with Watson Explorer’s FC, and is supported by ontolection trainer, a new tool for unsupervised machine learning.
Enhancements to the Watson Explorer Application Builder
The Watson Explorer Application Builder features numerous enhancements including:
– Notification improvements
– CSS/JS for search results preview
– A table widget accepting arrays, new search settings and more
– Extended reporting capability (recording user interactions with the app for usage statistics and displaying these statistics in a widget)
– A new chart widget that makes query visualization a breeze, using pre-configured templates.
Two new FC connectors are introduced in this version – a refreshed Web Content Management connector supporting the latest versions of IBM Web Content Manager, and a brand-new WebSphere Portal Server connector.
Improvements in the Analytical Components
On the Analytical Components (AC) side Watson Explorer v18.104.22.168 introduces several usability, administration, and security improvements. A new user role allows users who are not system administrators to upload custom annotators (as PEAR files) and add them to collections. Also, admin user activities are logged for auditing. Lastly, Watson Explorer Content Analytics Studio (the well-known rule-based annotator editor) is now offered as a 64-bit application, removing the 4GB RAM limitation of the old 32-bit editor, and increasing the performance and reliability of the tool.
Platform support changes
On the platform side, the Watson Explorer team streamlined the OS portfolio by dropping support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 32-bit. The latest version of Watson Explorer supports Red Hat Enterprise Lunix (RHEL) on x86-64, POWER Systems and z Systems hardware, and Windows 2012 R2 on x86-64 hardware. See the complete list of operating systems and web browsers here.
Learn more about the new capabilities with our release notes for Foundational and Analytical Components. If there are specific topics you would like to see covered in a blog post, let us know with a comment below.
About Watson Explorer
Watson Explorer combines search and content analytics with unique cognitive computing capabilities to help users find and understand the contextual information they need to work more efficiently and make better, more confident decisions at the point of impact. Watson Explorer is offered in two editions:
Enterprise Edition: Provides enterprise-wide information access and unified information applications capabilities across internal and external data sources and services, as well as the ability to integrate Watson Developer Cloud cognitive services for enhancing, scaling, and augmenting human expertise.
Advanced Edition: Provides all of the same functionality as the Enterprise Edition. In addition, the Advanced Edition includes advanced content analytics capabilities to enable organizations to adapt their information access solution to specific domains and to extract insights from unstructured data to help to identify trends, patterns, and relationships in their data.
The new functionality added in Watson Explorer v11.0.1 is available for users of both editions.
(*) Results achieved using academic test data