The aim of the CIE group was to help cement a collaborative, cross-sectoral partnership to build a common on-line information environment.

"The rapid growth and development of electronic content offers enormous and ever-growing possibilities for all citizens in the UK. But for this country to realize the full potential of the Web, and for each citizen to realize their own potential - in the workplace, in their places of learning, and in the home - the full range of online content needs to be made available to all, quickly, easily and in a form appropriate to individuals' needs."

The ADS's contribution to the goals of the CIE was the development of the Archaeo-Browser. This was an experimental search tool which provided unified access to information on the historic environment from a range of public and academic institutions in the UK. The Archaeo-browser used a technology called 'faceted classification' to guide searches so it was very different to existing search engines.

The original CIE Archaeo-browser interface is no longer maintained. It was the core for the Archaeotools project browser element and therefore the earliest incarnation of ArchSearch III launched in 2009.