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Google releases GSA software version 7.4

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 8.52.07 AM
Google has released version 7.4 of the Google Search Appliance Software.  The upgrade includes the following new features:

  • Seamless Integration with Microsoft: we’re releasing our SharePoint and Active Directory 4.0 connectors out of beta. These connectors provide improved scalability, easier configuration and tighter integration with SharePoint. Additionally, the GSA now supports ADFS, which improves our ability to integrate with Windows security.
  • Strengthening GSA as a Platform: GSA 7.4 improves the overall quality of the GSA as a search platform. Examples of this include better monitoring through exposing new SNMP metrics, better administration of the onboard group resolution repository (GroupDB), and more support for security standards through a generic SAML Identity Provider (eg: OpenSAML).
  • New Groups page: You can use this page to download the groups DB file from the search appliance, view information about groups on the search appliance, delete groups from a particular source, and delete all the contents in the groups DB file.
  • Improved Performance: this new GSA version provides better performance in 3 areas: crawling, serving and authorizing search results (early binding).
  • Enhanced Connector Platform: we have released new features to our 4.0 connector platform, which include a new beta Database connector and support for SharePoint 2013 multi tenant. We’ll continue to release new Connector functionality regularly.

This is a fairly predictable release from Google.  Google tends to alternate between upgrades that provide new UI / end-user-facing features, and upgrades that address under-the-hood systems and performance.  This is clearly the under-the-hood kind of upgrade.  We get some much-needed enhancements to the Groups database for administration, and some surprises like enhanced SNMP monitoring.  The progression of the 4.0 connectors, systematically replacing the 3.x connectors, is expected and welcomed.  And native ADFS support is icing on the cake.
Perficient’s Google team has started upgrading our own GSA appliances with version 7.4 and so far we have not experienced any issues.  As with all new releases, we recommend testing the upgrade on a non-production system first.  But, so far, this appears to be a stable and easy upgrade for users currently on version 7.2.

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Chad Johnson

Chad is a Principal of Search and Knowledge Discovery at Perficient. He was previously the Director of Perficient's national Google for Work practice.

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