December 26, 2000, 9:55 AM

Sole Man

(Page 3 of 3)

The ultimate closet organizer

 

How do you sort through a virtual Imelda’s closet in mere seconds? Nordstromshoes.com looked at search engine technology from Inktomi and other vendors, but ultimately chose to build its own search engine using Microsoft’s OLAP technology.

“What that allows us to do is chunk through huge sets of data within seconds,” says senior program director Chris Dressler. “OLAP rolls up the data into key segments, like sizing and color, so the relationship is already built in between different key points for which the shopper is searching.”

So when you search for black pumps, for instance, you’re not really searching the whole database but through an already-defined subset. That means quick answers for every search-even with a universe of 30 million possibilities.

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