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Amazon Kendra is an enterprise search that aims to take down Google and Microsoft

Woman typing on a laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Amazon is breaking more fresh ground at AWS re:Invent 2019 with the introduction of a new enterprise search product to rival existing offerings from Google and Microsoft.

As with all these offerings, Amazon Kendra provides a means to easily and quickly find the files or content you need, wherever they may be stored across the company.

It’s powered by machine learning, and uses natural language queries for an intuitive search experience, with Amazon promising a high degree of accuracy when it comes to the search results.

Amazon gives us some examples of the sort of queries that users will be able to throw at the system, for example, “how long is maternity leave?” which can be met with a simple answer like “14 weeks”.

Something like “how do I configure my VPN?” will obviously require a more in-depth response, and Kendra will pull out a section from a help file or document which details the configuration process.

Amazon boasts: “With Kendra, you can provide pinpoint search accuracy from content within your manuals, research reports, FAQs, HR documentation, customer service guides, and more.”

Key connections

As with Google’s and Microsoft’s enterprise search systems, the solution is only as powerful as the connectors available, which allow you to plug it in to be able to search all the third-party apps and services across your company.

So unsurprisingly Kendra’s preview version offers a starter set of connectors, as it were, for SharePoint Online, Amazon S3, and databases, with the ability to use the API to hook up your own data sources.

When it’s released, Amazon says that Kendra will come with a library of connectors for various popular services including Box, Dropbox, Salesforce, and Microsoft’s OneDrive.

Kendra’s machine learning models are constantly updated based on the users’ search patterns, allowing the system to be honed more for any particular organization as time progresses.

Kendra Preview (which offers a 30-day free tier) is now available in the AWS console, or via AWS SDKs, in two US regions – North Virginia and Oregon – and also Ireland. There’s no indication as yet of when general availability will be reached.