Google announced today that it has integrated the Google Search Appliance with the OpenSearch protocol, which is a collection of formats for sharing search results. OpenSearch can be used to describe a search engine, so that it can be used by search client applications.
"People should have the power to conduct searches from everywhere," says Alexander Kerschhofer with the Google Search Appliance team. "This is why we provide users with numerous options beyond Google.com, such as typing in a search query directly in the address bar in Google Chrome, or through Google Toolbar, or Google Desktop."
"However, when it comes to searching information on their corporate intranet, most users’ choices are limited," he continues. "Corporate users typically have to go to a special URL or open up a special portal application to search their intranet."
The Google Search Appliance's integration of OpenSearch means users can access Google Search Appliance directly from the browser, or from Windows Explorer. These are just a couple of examples.
Essentially, the more platforms that play nice with OpenSearch, the more options, Google Search Appliance users will have for accessing it.
More information about OpenSearch can be found here.