Newcomers to Oracle Endeca may view Endeca IAS and Endeca WAT as two tools that deliver the same capability and may think that the primary difference between the two is the user interface. After the previous two major sections, however, you know that this is not correct and that the two tools provide different capabilities.
A good analogy to use in comparing Endeca IAS and Endeca WAT is that of a fishing net versus a fishing pole. A fishing net can easily cover a wide area and catches everything under the net as it is cast. A fishing pole captures fish one at a time, with a particular type of bait.
Endeca IAS crawls capture everything in a web crawl and have the capability of penetrating deeply into a web site, so it is like a wide fishing net. Endeca WAT robots capture specific pieces of information from web sources, and if the structure of the web source changes, the robot may need to be reconfigured. Endeca WAT is much like a fishing pole, with a specific bait or lure. To catch a different fish, you would need to switch to different bait and possibly use stronger fishing line. To summarize this discussion:
- Endeca WAT is useful when you know exactly what is to be captured from a web source.
- Endeca IAS is useful when you are not certain what is to be captured from a web source and you prefer just to capture all content and look for meaningful information. Endeca IAS crawls other sources besides web-based sources.