Data is king. Companies such as Google and eBay are based primarily on the value of their data. (In Google's case, the data is actually indexes of data.) Providing access to data often is either mission critical to a company or the company's raison d'être.
Recently, while working on Motown-jobs.com, I needed to implement fuzzy searches of job listings and résumés. Rather than write this code from scratch, which can be time-consuming and error-prone, I employed the Microsoft Search Engine. The MS Search engine supports searching character-based data "for values that match the meaning and not the exact wording of words."
The article continues at http://developer.com/db/article.php/3526401