Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Enabling WSS for Enterprise Search

Often when I present to my students the features of the search in WSS and the features of the search in MOSS I get the question "any chance we can have a free version of enterprise search in WSS?" And thanks to Microsoft the answer is yes!

With Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express it is a doddle to get enterprise search up and running in your organisation. It comes bundled with the core WSS features so you can install it onto a WSS box or have it standalone. The standalone option is great for scalability as you can dedicate the server for indexing and serving search queries.

What is included that the MOSS boys have already?
  • best bets: define the perfect searchr esult for specific keywords
  • keywords: define multiple synonyms for a keyword so abbreviations also get to the correct resutls
  • authorative sources: specify who's hot and who's not in your search results
  • federated search: a great workaround for searching the BDC
  • security trimmed results: Only see the results you really have access too.
  • Query and Results reporting: find out what your users are searching for and what results they were receiving. Great for optimising the keywords to better serve your seekers.

What's missing that the MOSS boys have?

  • load balancing for search, crawling and indexing
  • People search
  • Business Data Catalog Search
  • More API options to customise search even more

What's the end result? If you have a spare windows 2003 machine with 1-2 gb of ram and a bunch of spare space for the index , hook it up to the network, install search server 2008 express within minutes and start searching your sharepoint content, your existing intranet and internet and even you sql databases and favourite RSS feeds.

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