Sitecore clients got more than a bag full of tchotchkes at the company's conference in Las Vegas today as Coveo announced a free version of its enterprise search engine for Sitecore's 4,000 customers.

Officials of the Quebec City, Quebec-based Coveo said the free Sitecore edition will let companies "quickly configure and manage search experiences" on their websites. 

"Search is one of the most powerful drivers of visitor engagement and online conversions,” said JP Provencal, Coveo's senior vice president for alliances. The product will be available to customers by mid-October.

What's Free, What's Not

Provencal said customers "can now deploy a search engine that not only delivers best-in-class relevance and usability, but also provides the advanced feature-set needed to help unlock the full potential of the Sitecore platform.”

The free service facilitates the creation of pages containing search-driven content across all major browsers and mobile devices. It also includes a JavaScript user interface that will allow Sitecore's 10,000 developers to tap into Coveo's framework. 

However, while officials described the product as the only full-featured search engine to be deeply integrated with Sitecore's CX platform, that could be a bit misleading. In May, Coveo introduced "Coveo for Sitecore - Enterprise Edition" as a paid product for large, complex websites. 

The paid version includes features absent from the free version, such as the ability to import content from outside repositories such as CRM systems, external product catalogs and other data sources.

The free version provides advanced search and full integration with the Sitecore experience database, but lacks the outside connectivity, Laurent Simoneau, president and chief technology officer, told CMSWire.

Simoneau said Coveo will offer three levels of paid support for customers who want it: bronze, silver and gold. The gold level will include Coveo's cloud-based user analytics that can determine what content is trending, where users may experience content gaps and tools to optimize the relevance of search results, he said.

"We expect some of them will pay for development support," he said.

Other Partners

Coveo is a key partner to Sitecore, but also provides similar enterprise search technology for Lockheed-Martin, Rabobank and other large companies, including, which competes with Sitecore in some areas of customer management. "That model works very well for us," said Simoneau.

"Right now, we are at the Sitecore Symposium and we are announcing for Sitecore," said Simoneau, but he added "we are really happy about" the Salesforce partnership. 

That said, don't count on similar arrangements to follow any time soon. Asked if Coveo would consider expanding its partnerships to include customer experience platforms like Oracle or Adobe, Simoneau said "that would be speculation. We want to be great at something and we can't be great at everything at the same time."