A method and apparatus for processing information in a data processing system which is coupled to an information storage device having information stored therein. The method includes defining on a first processor a first search request which includes at least one parameter which specifies a first desired type of information, then performing a first search using the first request to determine whether the first type of desired information is stored in the information storage device. While performing the first search the first processor executes another process associated with searching for information in the data processing system. This other process typically includes defining a further search request and performing a further search using the further search request while the first search is being performed. The apparatus of the present invention includes a first processor coupled to the information storage device and a second processor coupled to a network to the first processor. An input device is coupled to the first processor which is used to define a first search request. According to another aspect of the invention, a first search request may be defined and the performance of the first search request may be scheduled such that a first search may be performed at a first scheduled search time or a report of the first search may be retrieved at a first scheduled time. A report in summary format is generated following performance of the first search at the first scheduled search time.