In Boston last week for the Endeca Discovery Conference. Endeca is a fast-growing Boston-based company that produces a search and navigation engine that's being used by several major websites around the world, they're growing by leaps and bounds every year. They have a different spin when it comes to search, they call it "Guided Navigation," it's basically the concept of allowing the user to decide how they find information and guiding them along with attributes of that information displayed at relevant points in time and enabling a user multiple paths to that information while allowing a business to also provide contextual information and merchandising tied to that navigation.
Endeca is in their 5th year and has just released version 5.1.1 of their product, with 64-bit support, key enhancements to their WebStudio suite for business users, many-to-many relationships, and a slew of other improvements to their platform. At the conference Endeca also launched a user-community site for developers called Eden, http://eden.endeca.com. The developer site is just a shell at this point, with paragraphs describing solutions, but no real solutions. The site has potential and probably just needs time to grow, at this point it's a little frustrating, offering the hope of information with a lot of dead ends. Endeca also hinted at the conference at the future release of an Ajax framework called UICL, providing a Web 2.0 integration point with their navigation engine.
All in all it was great to be in Boston for a few days, the weather was beautiful and the sites were fantastic, however the content of the conference could have been compressed into a day, since the same concepts and features were repeated over and over.