If you haven’t heard about MS Enterprise Search solutions, let me summarize the relevant points and what are the options available in Microsoft to address this space.

 

The people in the organizations are hard at work making things happen. When they need publicly available information to get the job done, they know how to search on the Internet to find it. But when they need information in their business, they need Enterprise Search.

 

In the world of business, Search isn’t just about finding information. That’s the starting point. To be valuable to an organization, a search has to result in the ability to do something meaningful and profitable with the information you find. It has to be an integral part of a business productivity infrastructure. Microsoft is changing the Enterprise Search landscape by delivering a solid solution that fills the gap left by current offerings.

 

Microsoft provides a search experience that is at the same time richly innovative and comfortably familiar. Office SharePoint Server 2007 as part of an Enterprise Search solution provides the following features:

·         Deploy Search as an Integrated Service

o   Integrate Search into Important Business Applications

o   Integrate with Desktop Search

o   Integrate into Tools and Applications with Rich, Actionable Interfaces

·         Deploy a Secure and Managed Solution

o   Control Access to Information With Permissions

o   Manage Your Search Solutions

o   Scale Your Deployment

·         Unlock Unstructured and Structured Information

o   Find Information in Unstructured Repositories

o   Use Search as an Interface for Line-Of-Business Systems

o   Refine Results and Save Important Queries

·         Find People and Expertise

o   Build Rich Personal Profiles

o   Publish Personal Profiles Using SharePoint My Sites

o   Identify People Who Can Help

 

Our vision for the future of Enterprise Search is people-centric.  It builds on the strengths of key technologies like Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to provide a platform that not only helps people find what they need, but also helps them do something meaningful with what they’ve found.  After all, Enterprise Search isn’t simply about finding information. It’s about real people and real problems, and the tools that help them get their jobs done.

 

As you read above our main player in this space is MOSS 2007, however for those SMB customers or hosters who want to leverage Searching capabilities Search Server 2008 is an option which relies on Windows Sharepoint Services.

 

The following table summarizes the features of each available option:

 

Product Features
click each to learn more

Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express  **

Microsoft Search Server 2008 **

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007*

Search Center

X

X

X

No Pre-Set Document Limits

X

X

X

Extensible Search Experience

X

X

X

Relevance Tuning

X

X

X

Continuous Propagation Indexing

X

X

X

Federated Search Connectors

X

X

X

Indexing Connectors

X

X

X

Security-Trimmed Results

X

X

X

Unified Administration Dashboard

X

X

X

Query and Results Reporting

X

X

X

Streamlined Installation

X

X

High Availability and Load Balancing

X

X

People and Expertise Searching

X

Business Data Catalog

X

SharePoint Productivity Infrastructure

X

*This list represents features included with the Enterprise Client Access License version of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

** Microsoft Search Server 2008 relies on Windows SharePoint Services to provide its functionality

 

For more details:

http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/default.aspx (Enterprise Search Overview)

http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/products.aspx (Products: Search Server 2008, Search Server 2008 Express, MOSS 2007)

http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000000149 (Case Study: TV Guide Online)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb871550.aspx (MS Search Server 2008 - Technet)

http://www.fastsearch.com (Microsoft announces offer to acquire FAST – Jan 17th, 2008)