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Create and set up the Content Search Service Application (FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint)

FAST Search Server 2010

Published: May 12, 2010

To be able to crawl content with the indexing connectors integrated in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, you must prepare the FAST Search Content Search Service Application (Content SSA). The Content SSA will crawl content and feed it into the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint back-end.

After you have created the Content SSA and before you add a content source and configure crawling with the Content SSA, you must enable SSL communication between FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. This is mandatory; you will not be able to feed content to FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint without enabling SSL communication.

In this article:

Create and set up the Content SSA

Important Important:

Make sure that the Windows Service called SharePoint 2010 Administration (SPAdminV4) is running on Microsoft SharePoint Server. If it is stopped, it must be started.

The install_info.txt file contains information to help you configure the Content SSA. The file is located directly under <FASTSearchFolder> (the folder where you have installed FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, for example C:\FASTSearch) on the administration server or single server.

  1. On SharePoint Server 2010, on the Central Administration Home page, click Application Management and then click Manage Service Applications.

  2. On the Manage Service Applications page, click New and then click Search Service Application.

  3. On the Create New Search Service Application page, in the Name section, provide a unique name for the Service Application.

    Example: FASTContent

  4. In the FAST Service Application section, select FAST Search Connector.

  5. Set the Search Service Account.

    Note that the Search Service Account is the same across all Search Services. If you set this account to something other than the default value, it will affect all Search Services.

    If you want to change the Search Service Account later, go to the Central Administration Home page. Click Security and then click Configure Service Accounts. Change the user who runs Windows Service - SharePoint Server Search.

    By default, the user specified in the Search Service Account is used to access the content sources that will be crawled. If a certain content source should be crawled by a different user, this can be specified with a crawl rule for that content source.

  6. In the Application Pool for Search Admin Web Service section, select either an existing application pool under Use existing application pool, or select Create new application pool and give it a unique name. Example: FAST_Content_App_Pool.

    If you create a new application pool, select a security account.

    This security account is used to run the application pool for the administrative Web service. Through this service, an administrator will communicate all search administration operations such as starting crawls and creating crawl rules.

  7. In the Content Distributors and Content Collection Name sections, enter the connection information to the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint installation. Use the install_info.txt file as a reference for the location of the content distributor.

    Important Important:

    The default FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint content collection is named sp.

    For example:

    • Content Distributors: fastsearch1.contoso.com:13391

      If you have more than one, use a semicolon as separator.

    • Content Collection Name: sp

  8. Click OK. It may take a while to finish.

    When finished, you will receive a confirmation that your new Content SSA is created. The Content SSA is added to the list of Service Applications.

    note Note:

    If the Content SSA creation fails, you must enter new unique names for the Content SSA and the application pool. Otherwise, it will fail again and you must re-enter all the data.

You have now created the Content SSA. To be able to feed content to FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, you must configure SSL enabled communication between Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint. Continue with Configure SSL enabled communication.

Configure SSL enabled communication

Warning Warning:

Configuring SSL enabled communication is mandatory.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) communication is required to feed content from SharePoint Server 2010 to FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint. To enable secure communications, configure the Content SSA to use an SSL certificate for FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint generates a self-signed certificate during post-setup configuration. This section describes how to use this default self-signed certificate to enable SSL communication. The self-signed certificate is mainly intended to be used in a pre-production or test environment to set up and verify the initial deployment. It is recommended to use certificates issued by a certification authority in production environments, refer to Manage certificates (FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint) for advanced instructions.

The following procedure has to be followed at least one time, to enable SSL communication between the SharePoint Server 2010 server that runs the Content SSA crawl component and the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint back-end. If your environment contains additional SharePoint Server 2010 servers running a Content SSA crawl component, additional steps are required to enable SSL communication for those servers. Refer to Multiple server deployment of the Content SSA (FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint) for more information.

Important Important:

This procedure includes copying sensitive information. Ensure that the certificate information is kept private.

  1. Copy the script securefastsearchconnector.ps1 from the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint administration server to the SharePoint Server 2010 server. The securefastsearchconnector.ps1 script is in the <FASTSearchFolder>, under installer\scripts\.

  2. Copy the certificate file FASTSearchCert.pfx from the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint administration server to the SharePoint Server 2010 server. The certificate file is in the <FASTSearchFolder>, under data\data_security\cert\.

  3. Open a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Management Shell with the Run as administrator option on the SharePoint Server 2010 server.

    Navigate to the directory where you copied the securefastsearchconnector.ps1 script and run it, replacing the necessary parameters with the values for your environment. The domain and user name should reflect the details of the user running the SharePoint Server Search 14 (OSearch14) service.

    .\SecureFASTSearchConnector.ps1 –certPath "path of the certificate\certificatename.pfx" –ssaName "name of your content SSA" –username “domain\username”

    When prompted to enter the certificate password, enter the certificate password that you supplied when you ran the post-setup configuration of FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.

    Important Important:

    The script verifies the connection to FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint. Therefore, make sure that all servers in the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm are running before you run this script.

You have now configured the Content SSA to use SSL communication. You should now add at least one content source to the Content SSA to be able to verify the installation. Continue with Add a content source.

Add a content source

This section describes the steps to add a content source to the FAST Search Content SSA.

A content source is a set of options that you can use to specify what type of content is crawled, what URLs to crawl, and how deep and when to crawl. You must create at least one content source before a crawl can occur.

In order to feed content to the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint content collection using the integrated indexing connectors, you should add at least one content source to the FAST Search Content SSA. The default content collection name is sp.

The FAST Search Content SSA can have up to 500 content sources in it, and each content source can have a different configuration.

note Note:

It is not necessary to configure the FAST Search Content SSA and set up a content source when you choose to deploy one or more FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint specific indexing connectors: the FAST Search Web crawler, the FAST Search database connector and/or the FAST Search Lotus Notes connector. These connectors require completing different configuration procedures.

To verify a successful FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint installation, we recommend that you add a small content source to the Content SSA and start a full crawl. This can be one folder in a file share for example, or one Web site.

Navigate to the Manage Content Sources page

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is a service application administrator for the FAST Search Content Search Service Application.

  2. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  3. On the Manage Service Applications page, click your FAST Search Content Search Service Application.

  4. On the Search Administration Page, in the Crawling section, click Content Sources.

To create a content source

  1. On the Manage Content Sources page, click New Content Source.

  2. On the Add Content Source page, in the Name section, in the Name box, type a name for the new content source.

  3. In the Content Source Type section, select the type of content that you want to crawl. We recommend that you pick a small content source to verify the installation. You can add additional content sources, or edit or delete this content source after you have completed the installation.

    Warning Warning:

    You can only crawl one type of content per content source. That is, you can create a content source that contains URLs for SharePoint sites and another that contains URLs for file shares. However, you cannot create a single content source that contains URLs to both SharePoint sites and file shares.

  4. In the Start Addresses section, in the Type start addresses below (one per line) box, type the URLs from which the crawl should start.

  5. In the Crawl Settings section, select the crawling behavior that you want.

  6. In the Crawl Schedules section, to specify a schedule for full crawls, select a defined schedule from the Full Crawl list. A full crawl crawls all content that is specified by the content source, regardless of whether the content has changed. To define a full crawl schedule, click Create schedule.

    To specify a schedule for incremental crawls, select a defined schedule from the Incremental Crawl list. An incremental crawl crawls content that is specified by the content source that has changed since the last crawl. To define a schedule, click Create schedule.You can change a defined schedule by clicking Edit schedule.

    Tip Tip:

    It is recommended to complete a manually started full crawl cycle before scheduling more crawls. This ensures that the time that is scheduled between incremental crawls is not shorter than the time that is required to run a full crawl.

  7. To prioritize this content source, in the Content Source Priority section, on the Priority list, select Normal or High.

  8. To immediately begin a full crawl, in the Start Full Crawl section, select the Start full crawl of this content source check box, and then click OK.

Next step

You have now set up the Content SSA, enabled SSL communication and added a content source to the Content SSA.

To be able to query crawled content, create a FAST Search Query SSA and follow the instructions to enable queries from SharePoint Server. Continue with Create and set up the Query Search Service Application (FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint).

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