State-of-the-art onsite search for Bavaria's authorities

The starting signal for the cooperation between the Bavarian State Office for Digitalization, Broadband and Surveying (LDBV) and Iphos IT Solutions took place in spring 2021 searchit brought a secure and particularly user-friendly enterprise search solution onto the market. The aim of the collaboration was to implement an efficient and barrier-free search function for the more than 400 websites of the Bavarian offices. Data security and scalability were the focus from the start. The onsite search is now being used by searchit processes around a quarter of a million search queries per month.

Work in the home office

Three years of cooperation between LDBV and searchit

Digitizing, networking and measuring – that’s what the State Office for Digitization, Broadband and Surveying (LDBV) in the Free State of Bavaria stands for. It also acts as a central IT service provider, first point of contact for broadband expansion and collector of basic geodata. The state office is also the supervisory authority for more than 70 offices and branch offices. In order to provide both the LDBV's approximately 3.700 employees and all citizens with a comprehensive multisite search on all websites of the Bavarian ministries and offices, the LDBV has been using the Enterprise Search solution for three years now searchit.

“The tailor-made adaptation of our services and the guarantee of high data security are among the guiding principles of our company. We are very pleased that we were able to win the LDBV's Europe-wide tender," says Christoph Wendl, CEO of the Austrian IT service provider Iphos IT Solutions, which is behind the development of searchit stands. “An efficient search function is extremely important for public sector websites in order to make relevant information easily and easily accessible to citizens and employees,” explains Mr. M., Systems Engineer at LDBV, the motivation behind the project. “Right from the start, the Iphos IT Solutions team had a good understanding of the special requirements of the public sector. Of course, this included all questions relating to data security, but also an interagency search for the services of the Bavarian authorities,” continued M., who has been supporting the project since it started in 2021.


Tailor-made development to ensure the highest safety standards

IT security has the highest priority in LDBV projects, especially when integrating third-party software. “By default, our application is hosted on the Iphos servers,” explains Wendl. “In order to give the LDBV more control over compliance with its security standards, searchit implemented on eight virtual machines provided by the state office.” This means that the IT security measures are implemented exactly in accordance with the LDBV specifications. In addition, it is possible to expand the scope of searchit to expand at any time. “Software updates are also carried out directly on site by the LDBV after encrypted, external transmission. This makes uploading to all instances significantly faster,” explains Wendl.


Multisite search in over 400.000 pages and documents

The basis of enterprise search software searchit is a full-text search in various data sources - from file and web servers, to mail servers, databases and more - with additional functionalities such as automatic categorization. This also makes it possible to search on websites in almost all file formats, even in scans and images thanks to Optical Character Recognition. At LDBV, around 405 comprehensive websites were precisely crawled and indexed. If you add up all the indexed landing pages, images, documents, events and more, over 400 files can already be searched and found - and the trend is rising.
“Intuitive search fields on websites that also deliver the right results prevent high bounce rates. For the Bavarian ministries and offices, this also means that citizens can easily find the information they want and can also navigate between the related websites of the ministries and offices with ease,” says Wendl, counting the advantages of searchit on. “For example, if citizens search for information about their local tax office using the website search function, they will also be shown relevant results from the main website of the Bavarian Tax Office.”


Easy installation, barrier-free application

Which site search features are implemented on each of the 405 websites is ultimately the responsibility of the offices themselves. With the individual adaptability of the searchit Search widgets allow web administrators to decide on site which functionalities, filters and sorting options are most important for their users and which comprehensive pages should be searched using multisite search. The result display is supplemented with a pictorial preview of the document or website found, which enlarges when you mouse over. This makes finding the information you are looking for even easier. “Accessibility is a big concern for us, as it is for the LDBV: Our enterprise search solution is compatible with text-to-speech applications and allows search results to be read out to people with visual impairments,” explains Wendl.
Three years after implementation, the success of onsite search speaks volumes in the user statistics. “We can now record around 230.000 search queries per month on all of our government websites,” says Mr. M. happily. “For us, this is a clear sign that our multisite search with searchit very well received by users. The collaboration with Iphos gave us exactly the search function that the users of our website wanted. This means we are well prepared for the future.”


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