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Alibaba Is Adding This Key Technology to Its Growing Cloud

October 13, 2017, 12:41 PM UTC

Alibaba, the Chinese cloud computing and e-commerce giant, will soon offer Elasticsearch search services to software developers in that country.

Think of Elasticsearch as a finer-tuned search engine for the business world. Companies like Walmart(WMT), Facebook(FB), Sprint (S), Goldman Sachs(GS), and Yelp(YELP) use Elasticsearch in their online products as does Wikipedia.

This new deal means that the estimated 2.3 million users of Alibaba’s Aliyun cloud will soon have access to a new search option for software they’re building—whether that’s an online catalog, support manuals, or some other type of digital content.

And it opens up the massive Chinese market to Elastic, the company that backs both commercial and open-source versions of Elasticsearch technology. Market research firm Evans Data estimates there are nearly two million software developers in China.

Related: Alibaba Beats Amazon and Microsoft in this Key Category

“Alibaba knows how to market to the Chinese developer ecosystem, they know how to price things correctly for the Chinese developer market,” Elastic CEO and founder Shay Banon tells Fortune.

“They are at the front line providing many different products-as-a-service, and we are one of these products. But [this is] the first time that Alibaba or Aliyun is joining forces with a company like ours, in officially providing such a service,” Banon says.

Under this agreement, Alibaba (BABA) and Elastic will jointly sell the search service, which Alibaba will run. The Aliyun version is fully translated into Chinese, and it is in preview mode now with general availability to follow in a few months.

The Alibaba partnership news comes out of an Alibaba tech conference in Hangzhou, China this week. At the same event, Alibaba announced a $15 billion global R&D effort as well as plans to offer Red Hat Enterprise Linux and other business software on Aliyun cloud worldwide.

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Elastic, the company, is based in Amsterdam and Mountain View, Calif. in Silicon Valley. In April, Elastic announced a similar deal with Google (GOOG). In that case, Elastic runs its technology on Google Cloud Platform.

The Elastic Cloud also runs on Amazon Web Services, the world’s largest public cloud. In addition, Amazon (AMZN) offers its own version of Elasticsearch, based on the free open-source code. “They only have access to the open-source, but have no Elastic support or access to our commercial features,” Banon notes.

Elastic is also talking to Microsoft (MSFT) and IBM (IBM) about making its technology available on their public clouds.