Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fig Leaf Software and the Verizon Foundation

Fig Leaf Software is a full service Google Enterprise Partner ( specializing in Google Search Appliance implementation and Google Search Appliance training ( for corporations, government agencies, associations, nonprofits and educational institutions.

The Verizon Foundation set up to improve student achievement in traditional classroom settings and beyond by providing high-quality content and extensive professional development training. The free, comprehensive digital learning platform is built upon the merger of two acclaimed programs Verizon MarcoPolo and the Thinkfinity Literacy Network.

The Verizon Foundation had data coming from multiple external vendors that was being collected a variety of ways and accessible only via a SQL database. The SQL Database was not publically available. The Verizon Foundation was launching a new Web site and had a grant requirement for the new site,, to be created to “deliver free, top quality online educational resources to strengthen problem-solving, creativity and critical thinking skills”.

The Verizon Foundation worked with Fig Leaf Software, a Google Value Added Reseller (VAR) to purchase the Google Search Appliance and customize the search solution. Utilizing deep meta tagging and database feed capabilities of the Google Search Appliance, Fig Leaf crafted a solution that pulls a uniform set of data from a SQL database and exposes a custom search interface through ASP.Net technology. The interface enables public and authenticated users to search through content using a variety of different choices based on information type and user profile. Content is pulled from more than eight content sources including the Smithsonian, National Geographic, Kennedy Center and other partner organizations.

With Fig Leaf Software’s assistance, the Verizon Foundation was able to launch their new Thinkfinity search solution in a matter of weeks opening up tens of thousands of educational materials to educators, parents and students alike. Visitors and authenticated users can search content utilizing any of the following search criteria: Keyword, Subject, Grade, Resource Type, Content Partner. Style sheets for the results display content with visual keys to show how content is tagged, i.e. by resource type, grade level, conformity to state standards, etc.