Web search titan Google yesterday unveiled Google Mini, a new search appliance designed for small and medium-sized businesses, and an upgrade to its existing Google Search Appliance for larger organisations.

Google Mini leverages the same technology as the larger appliance but is limited in search capacity to 50,000 documents. The hardware and software appliance is sold exclusively online, priced at US$4,995 (£2,670), which is a fraction of the cost of the larger capacity appliance versions.

Companies of all sizes are having a harder time finding information on their internal intranets and external-facing websites than on the web via search engines such as Google, said Matthew Glotzbach, business product manager at Google.

"It is much easier to find a fact on the internet using Google versus finding last quarter's sales number on the company intranet. And this is across all types of business from large to small companies," Glotzbach said. "The Google Mini is enterprise search tailored to smaller and medium-sized businesses."

Google also introduced version 4.2 of its Search Appliance, featuring support for more types of enterprise content. The new version adds native connection to enterprise databases, allowing the appliance to crawl content that lives in relational databases. This feature also lets the appliance conduct searches across structured and unstructured data, according to Glotzbach.

"One of the big missing pieces (in earlier Search Appliance versions) was accessing content from relational databases," he said.

Furthermore, Google has added an integration API which lets IT managers feed legacy system content into the Search Appliance,

"Now with the feed API, any content in the enterprise can be indexed," Glotzbach said.

Other features in Version 4.2 of the Search Appliance include support for x509 Client Certificates, security APIs for integrated into existing access control systems, and local language configuration.