Acronym for Wide Area Information Server. A UNIX-based document search and retrieval system on the Internet that can be used to search over 400 WAIS libraries, such as Project Gutenberg, for indexed files that match keywords entered by the user. WAIS can also be used on an individual Web site such as a search engine. WAIS, developed by Thinking Machines Corporation, Apple Computer, and Dow Jones, uses the Z39.50 standard to process natural language queries. The list of documents returned by WAIS often contains numerous false matches. Users need a WAIS client to use a WAIS server. See also natural language query, Project Gutenberg, search engine, Z39.50 standard.
(abbreviation for Wide Area Information Server) Software tool for retrieving information from the Internet. WAIS was the most powerful search tool on the Internet 1994 because of its ability to search for words within the text of documents; Gopher and Veronica, for example, only index files by keywords.
(Wide Area Information Servers):
A commercial software package that allows the indexing of huge quantities of information, and then making those indices searchable across networks such as the Internet. A prominent feature of WAIS is that the search results are ranked (scored) accordingto how relevant the hits are, and that subsequent searches can find more stuff like that last batch and thus refine the search process.