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July 20, 2010

Search in SharePoint 2010: Microsoft options

SharePoint 2010 seems to be gaining traction both among its existing customer base and with companies looking for new web content management (WCM) systems.

Great search is critical in to a successful WCM deployment, and just about every serious search technology has a way to connect to SharePoint. Microsoft, not to be outdone by its competitors, has five unique search engines for SharePoint 2010:

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

The foundation search is basic search within SharePoint only, and is the new name for WSS. And of course, the FAST search is the new implementation of FAST ESP with tight SharePoint integration, but with all of the scaling people expect from a top-flight enterprise search engine.

What is interesting are the other three options: express, search server, and server. All three are seemingly based on the same codebase, with limitations imposed more by licensing than by technology. Express is free, and can scale to 300K to 10M documents, depending on which back-end SQL server database is in use.

Search Server and SharePoint Server both scale to roughly 100M documents, and an scale with multiple servers and instances. SharePoint Server is a superset, however, in that it supports integration with social content in SharePoint (think 'expert finder' and 'social proximity' among other capabilities).

Confused yet? There is a document - a wall chart, really - that explains the differences. You can get your own copy, in Visio file format, from the Microsoft Download Center.

Of course, there is also FAST Search for Internet Sites (FSIS) and FAST Search for Internal Applications (FSIA), which is really the existing FAST ESP 5.3. 

If you think you're confused, be glad you're not a Microsoft - or partner - sales rep, trying to explain this to companies.

Stay tuned.

s/Miles

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Comments

Very good post. Thanks!

"Search Server is a superset, however, in that it supports integration with social content in SharePoint"
It's the other way round: SP Search is the superset of Search Server./
Thanks Mark.. changed in the original post 'in line' - appreciate your correction!.
/s/miles

Thanks for sharing. Good info.
zee
walisystems.com
==
Thanks Zee... Walisystems is a SharePoint consultancy in Italy, i believe.. /s/Miles

Let me know when there is a PDF. Visio? I can't even look at the mess, sigh.
==
Yep, I agree Walter.. Even when I download the Visio viewerf its HUGE! I wanted to try to make it small enough to just do a screen capture.. but by the time I could see it all, the fon;ts are too tiny to see.. I agree!:) /s/Miles

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