This month, Google Cloud opened the general availability of Cloud Search with third-party connectivity. This is an evolution of the Cloud Search available across G Suite, the set of cloud-native intelligent productivity and collaboration apps including Gmail, Drive and Docs. We’ve been working with pre-release versions of Cloud Search since January and are excited to finally share the news and capabilities of this exciting new functionality more broadly. This version supports third-party connectors and integrations with non-Google data sources both on-premise and in the cloud opening up use to all enterprise customers.

What is Google Cloud Search?

Google Cloud Search combines Google’s search expertise with features customized for business. Cloud Search can index both G Suite content like Gmail and Drive as well as third-party data both on-premise and in the cloud. This provides a unified search experience and enforces document-level permissions already in place in your repositories. Cloud Search boasts Google’s industry-leading machine learning relevancy and personalization to bring the speed, performance and reliability of Google.com to enterprise customers.

Who can use Cloud Search?

Any enterprise can purchase Cloud Search as a standalone platform edition regardless of whether you use other Google products such as G Suite or Google Cloud Platform. If users in your domain already have G Suite Enterprise licenses, they will now be able to access results from third-party data via the Cloud Search application provided as part of the G Suite. You will be allotted a fixed quota of third-party data that you can index, based on the number of Enterprise licenses. G Suite customers can also purchase the standalone platform edition if additional quota or search applications are required.

What’s new in this release?

Third-Party Data Source Connectors

To enable easy indexing of third-party data both on-premise and in the cloud, Google Cloud has released the following reference connectors.

While the above list covers many popular sources, numerous other data sources exist within individual organizations. For this reason, Google Cloud also released content and identity  SDKs to enable custom connector development. Fishbowl has been working with these SDKs for nearly a year and we’ve released the following connectors for Cloud Search:

Embeddable Search Widget

As part of this release, Google Cloud has introduced two new options for consuming search results that include third-party data. The first is an embeddable search widget which provides a customizable search interface for use within an organization’s internal web applications. With only a small amount of HTML and JavaScript, the widget enables customers to integrate with Cloud Search. Using the search widget offers common search features such as facets and pagination while minimizing required development efforts. You can customize components of the interface with your own CSS and JavaScript if desired.

Query API

The second new search option is the Cloud Search Query API. The API provides search and suggest services for creating fully custom search interfaces powered by Cloud Search. It also offers more flexibility than the search widget when embedding search results in an existing application.

Note that in addition to the API and search widget, Google Cloud also offers a pre-built search interface available to customers at cloudsearch.google.com and via Google’s Cloud Search mobile apps available for iOS and Android. These interfaces now support the inclusion of third-party results.

Is this a replacement for Google Search Appliance?

Cloud Search is Google’s next-generation search platform. It is not a GSA in the Cloud but may be an excellent replacement option for many GSA customers. GSA customers who sign a 2-year Cloud Search contract before the end of the year can extend their appliances through the end of 2019 if needed. Google is also offering these customers a 30% discount on their first year of Cloud Search. If you have a GSA that is approaching expiration and are wondering whether Cloud Search would be a good fit, please contact us.

What’s next?

If you’d like to learn more about Google Cloud Search, schedule a demo, or discuss whether your search use case is a good fit, please get in touch.

Fishbowl Solutions is a Google Cloud Partner and authorized Cloud Search reseller.