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Krugle Improves Code Search

If Google has taught the world one thing, it's this: Search is good.

So I stood up and took note last month when Krugle introduced the second version of its Krugle Enterprise Appliance, an enterprise search network device that lets developers and managers track down specific code assets across repositories and over the Internet. The appliance can search enterprise code indexed behind the firewall, and also provides access to Krugle's public index of more than 2.6 billion lines of open source code.

According to Matthew Graney, Krugle's senior director of product management, Krugle Enterprise Appliance 2.0 extends native support for source code management systems, adding ClearCase and Microsoft Foundation Server to support for Subversion, Perforce and CVS. Krugle search supports more than 40 languages. It also features improved management and configuration features.

Graney said the product meets a long-standing need among development teams. "Whether you are doing open source or other kinds of development, the biggest challenge facing developers is often finding what is out there," Graney said. "That is really the primary benefit."

Honestly, I'm surprised we don't hear more about code search solutions, especially given the increasingly distributed and componentized nature of development.

Tim Murphy, a senior consultant for Daugherty Business Solutions, agreed. He said effective code search is a great way for developers to get past bottlenecks and learn from each other.

"The most productive developers I have met are where they are because of the resources that they utilize," Murphy wrote in an e-mail interview. "Reading other people's code is a great way to find solutions but it is also a way to get new ideas for approaches to development."

More than that, a device like Krugle's, which plugs into the datacenter and crawls code repositories and other sources, can help large organizations do a better job of reusing code. Michael Cote, analyst for research firm RedMonk, sees developers searching across business units and projects to find blocks of code that address a problem at hand.

Of course, Web search helped turn keyword- and key phrase-writing into a profit-making art, and launched a cottage industry of search engine optimization consultancies. I imagine code search will put a real emphasis on well-commented and organized code.

Does your shop or projects make use of code search solutions? What would you like to see to help you do your jobs better? E-mail me at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 03/27/2008

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