One of the real challenges that we have had in the world of MP Authoring is people locating technical information that they’re looking for. I’ve run into several situations where people have asked me a question that is answered in some article that they just weren’t able to locate. Of course, we know that there are a variety of data sources that you have to scan. In addition to the content that we at Microsoft publish, there is a plethora of information across different blogs and also alternate forms of information like Twitter.
To help with this situation, we’re working on a project we’re calling System Center Cloud Search (code named Whitby) that provides searching across an aggregated set of content focusing on a particular technology. We’re working on providing this tool across the different System Center products, but we’re doing some beta testing now on Management Pack Authoring.
Think of this as a more targeted Bing search. Instead of scanning the entire Internet, we’re only searching through known data sources. This includes the typical content from TechNet such as the Management Pack Authoring Guide and the TechNet Wiki in addition to external sites like OpsManJam and System Center Central. Instead of giving a simple list of search results, we’re separating different kinds of information into different tabs.
Have a look at this example where I did a search for “cookdown”.
This tool is available now at http://cloudsearch.cloudapp.net/default.aspx?p=5. You’ll note the Feedback link at the bottom. Please use that to give us feedback on your use of this tool. This can include your opinions on basic functionality or let us know about some data source that we might be missing in our results. We’re working hard to make this a valuable resource for obtaining technical content on System Center, and your input will significantly improve our ability to do that.