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Getting started with enterprise search in SharePoint 2010 Products

Search Server 2010

Published: May 12, 2010

Summary:  Learn how to get started matching the features and capabilities in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 products with the search requirements of your organization or enterprise.

Applies to: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010, Microsoft Search Server 2010 Express, Microsoft Search Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint

 

Contents

Introduction

Search connects people to the information that they must have to do their jobs. General productivity search solutions increase employee efficiency by connecting a broad set of people to a broad set of information. High-value search applications drive measurable returns on investment (ROI) by helping a specific set of people extract the most from a specific set of information. Until now, organizations have had to purchase multiple products to address both scenarios; no single search solution delivered the correct functionality at the correct price, which forced organizations to incur the following additional costs:

  • Software costs — for example, licenses, support, and maintenance costs for separate products.

  • Headcount costs — for example, dedicated positions required to design, deploy, and manage different search solutions.

  • Opportunity costs — for example, mediocre general productivity search and limited deployment of high-value search applications.

When you assess the enterprise search offerings from Microsoft, review the capabilities of the various products and match them to the needs of your organization. You will find a broad set of enterprise search capabilities that are based on SharePoint 2010 Products and that serve the enterprise as growth, maturity, and changing business needs redefine your organizational enterprise search requirements.

SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Search Server 2010 Express are free to use on licensed Windows servers. They are entry-level products that crawl and index content. They also have a user interface that you can use to execute queries against the catalog of crawled content.

SharePoint Server 2010 and Search Server 2010 have improved scalability, and options to index content from many different sources. They include the configurability, manageability, and reporting features that your organization requires. SharePoint Server 2010 has a great platform that you can use to create general productivity search applications.

FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint is new, and it delivers the power of FAST with the simplicity and total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits that are typically associated with Microsoft products. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint delivers the best general productivity search on the market and makes it easy and economical to build high-value search applications. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint further improves the crawling, content processing, user interface, and scale of SharePoint Server 2010.

Capabilities Comparison

The following table compares general enterprise search capabilities that were in Office SharePoint Server 2007 with the features that are in SharePoint Server 2010 and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.

note Note:

The table uses the following values:

  • X = available in 2007

  • O = available in 2010

  • = improved in 2010

Features and Capabilities Office SharePoint Server 2007 SharePoint Server 2010 FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint

People and expertise search

Capture knowledge not found in documents by searching for people and expertise using SharePoint products.

X

O

O

SharePoint 2010 connector framework

Securely connect to content in SharePoint sites and from sources across your enterprise.

Use the Business Data Catalog to easily create your own connectors that work exactly like those available out of the box.

X

O

O

100m content volume with sub-second query response time

Meet the scale and performance needs of your entire organization or the specialized needs of individual departments.

X

O

O

Search from Windows 7 & Windows Mobile

Search beyond the search center. Conduct searches from the Windows 7 desktop and on your Windows mobile device.

X

O

O

Taxonomy tag integration

Bring the power of taxonomy into search. Tag metadata is shown in results, and users can refine by taxonomy-based tags.

O

O

Metadata-driven refinement panel

With the new refinement panel in SharePoint Server 2010 and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, users can narrow the results of their searches and navigate to the correct content faster.

O

O

Relevance improves with social behavior

The click-through behavior of similar search queries affects the rank that documents receive.

The more users click a certain item, the higher its ranking for related queries.

O

O

Phonetic and nickname search

Confidently search for a person's name as it sounds - without worrying about the exact spelling.

O

O

Contextual search

Tailor different results and refinement options, depending on the profile of the user or audience.

O

Thumbnails and previews

Thumbnails and previews make the results of a search query visual, which enable users to recognize the correct content quickly.

O

> 500m content volume with sub-second query response time

Scale to extremes with FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint while maintaining sub-second query response times.

O

Advanced content processing with advanced linguistics

Extract and create metadata latent in documents to improve search results, sorting capabilities, and the refinement panel.

O

Search-driven applications

Meet all the search application needs you have across your business.

Common examples include 360° Customer Insight, Research and Development Innovation Portal, and Product Support.

O

Business Intelligence Indexing Connector

Crawl Microsoft Excel 2010 workbooks and Reporting Services Reports with improved results, descriptions, thumbnails, and refiners.

Discover your business intelligence (BI) assets quickly and easily, navigate not only the document, but also the data behind the scenes, and access the information that you need quickly and easily.

O

Feature Comparison

Use the following table to make quick comparisons of the enterprise search features that each SharePoint product provides.

note Note:

The table uses the following values:

  • *  Specifies NTLM environments

  • **  Specifies FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint provides enhanced capabilities in these areas

  • ***  Specifies a subset of the supported languages

Feature SharePoint Foundation 2010 Search Server 2010 Express Search Server 2010 SharePoint Server 2010 FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint

Basic site search

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Best Bets

Y

Y

Y

Y

Visual Best Bets

Y

Similar Results

Y

Duplicate Results

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Search Scopes

Y

Y

Y

Y

RSS Feeds for Search Results

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Alerts for Search Results

Y*

Y*

Y*

Y*

Advanced Search Page

Y

Y

Y

Y

Search Enhancement based on User Contexts

Y

Crawled and Managed Properties

Y

Y

Y

Y**

Entity Extraction

Y

Query Federation

Y

Y

Y

Y

Query Suggestions

Y

Y

Y

Y

Sort Results on Managed Properties or Rank Profiles

Y

Relevancy Tuning by Document or Site Promotions

Y

Y

Y

Y**

Shallow Results Refinement

Y

Y

Y

Y

Deep Results Refinement

Y

Document Preview

Y

Windows 7 Federation

Y

Y

Y

Y

People Search

Y

Y

Phonetic Name Search***

Y

Y

Nickname Search***

Y

Y

Self Search

Y

Y

Social Search

Y

Y

Taxonomy Integration

Y

Y

Multi-Tenant Hosting

Y

Rich Web Indexing Support

Y

note Note:

For details about a specific feature, review the evaluation guides for the products.

First Steps

There are some general tasks that you must perform when you evaluate search products or implement enterprise search solutions that meet your organization's requirements. Use the following sections to get started.

Identify your content

Before you take any action, identify the content in your organization that you want to index. Content from SharePoint sites is automatically included in all of the SharePoint search products, but you can also index content from file shares, Microsoft Exchange public folders, external Web sites, Lotus Notes databases, and your line-of-business applications.

You can also use SharePoint Designer 2010 or Visual Studio 2010 to create Business Data Catalog applications that enable custom databases, Web services, and other custom solutions to be indexed.

note Note:

SharePoint Foundation 2010 can index content in SharePoint sites only. All other enterprise search products from Microsoft can index content in the content repositories mentioned earlier by using the connector framework.

FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint also has improved capabilities that enable you to index business intelligence data. You can obtain the Business Intelligence Indexing Connector to provide better search and analysis for business intelligence assets.

Crawl your content

The next step is to crawl the content in the content repositories that you identified. You can implement both full and incremental crawl schedules to ensure that indexed data is as fresh as possible.

The new index partitioning capabilities in Search Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint enable you to balance the indexing load (and query load) across dedicated servers that provide search for large amounts of content.

Scale your search infrastructure

One of the design goals for Search Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 is to provide sub-second query response times for up to 100 million indexed documents. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint provides sub-second query response times for more than 1 billion indexed documents. To achieve sub-second query response times for your organization, you might have to scale out your server farm to include multiple query servers. Additionally, to make sure that that indexed data is as fresh as possible when you index many documents, you might have to include multiple crawl components. The highly componentized architecture of the enterprise search products enables you to do that. For example, you can implement multiple crawl components to meet crawling demands, and you can include multiple query components to balance the query processing load at search time.

Customize the user search experience

Optionally, you can provide a customized user interface that information workers can use to search for information and manipulate results in the most efficient way for your business. The Enterprise Search Center for SharePoint Server 2010 and the FAST Search Center are highly customizable, and do not require developer effort. For example, you can create search scopes, change properties of search Web Parts, apply XSLT styles, and apply themes to search centers with minimal effort by using the Web browser or by using SharePoint Designer 2010.

If you want to further customize the search experience, developers can create a completely customized user interface by creating new Web Parts that inherit functionality from the existing Search Web Parts. Also, the search API is completely open. Therefore, developers can create new paradigms and ways of working with search — for example, by creating new Web Parts or even Silverlight applications that run searches and then render results.

Customize the content processing pipeline

One of the key differentiators between FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint and other search products is the ease with which you can customize content processing at indexing time. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint enables you to create your own metadata extractors to use in the content processing pipeline. This enables you to define how managed properties are populated from crawled content, and you can then use that metadata in deep refiners. That is, you can include these organization-specific vocabularies in the metadata refinement panel that enables you to provide search solutions in the terms and language of your business.

Evaluation Guides and Further Reading

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