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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Various Search Solutions for SharePoint 2010

With SharePoint 2010 Search capability is enhanced dramatically and various options for Search Solution are available to cater different needs. The different solutions which are avialable:

1. SharePoint Foundation 2010 search
2. Microsoft Search Server Express
3. Microsoft Search Server 2010
4. Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
5. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint

The first two would be free but they have their own limitations. SharePoint Foundation 2010 Search can not index external data and can only search the data into a single site collection. We can not schedule any crawls neither we can control this. Most of the configuration is done automatically. The Microsoft Seach Server Express is also a free download but it can crawl external content such as External Web Sites, Windows File Share, Exchange Public Folder, BDC Connections and Lotus Notes. It can use SQL Server Express or SQL Server. Both of these can index and crawl 10 Million Items.

Microsoft Search Server 2010 provides similar kind of search capabilites what SharePoint 2010 will provide. Search Server can be deployed across multiple servers for increasing redundancy, performance and capacity. It can scale up to 100 million times.

SharePoint Server 2010 search has all the search features what is there in Microsoft Search Server 2010 but it is tightly integrated with the features of SharePoint 2010 such as managed metadata and social networking feature. It can index people results and MySites. This solution also leverages the new Managed Taxonomy Features and this influences search rankning and experience.

FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint is enterprise solution for search capabilites and provides advanced content processing capabilites. Fast Search can read the content and provide the filtering based on these property. Also with FAST users can see the preview of the documents with the search results which is very helpful. Also with FAST Server the scale of content which can be indexed is enormous. FAST also provides the capability to tune the relevancy and Navigation.

The table summarizes below these 5 solutions:

Feature
SharePoint Foundation 2010
Search Server 2010 Express
Search Server 2010
SharePoint Server 2010
FAST Search Server
Basic Search
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Cost
Free
Free
Need to buy
Need to buy
Need to buy
Number of Items to be indexed
10 Million Per Search Server
10 Million with SQL Server
Upto 100 Million Item
Upto 100 Million Item
Almost unlimited
Scope
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
People Search
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Query Suggestion
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Taxonomy Integration
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Property Extraction
No
Limited
Limited
Limited
Yes
Visual Best Bets
No
Limited
Limited
Limited
Yes
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