Vedant Kulshreshtha

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

FAST ESP: Feature Snapshot

FAST ESP: Feature Snapshot

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FAST ESP is a feature rich search platform; no doubt about that. To give my readers, especially SharePoint 2007 developers/architects, an idea of what it provides, given below are some of FAST ESP features in an alphabetical order:



Advanced Linguistics

  • Match against dictionaries, synonyms and thesauri (all configurable). Anti-phrase

Advanced Query Processing

  • Support wide variety of query string functions including wildcards, include/exclude, query term weighting, parenthesis and ranges of values
  • Ensure all relevant results get returned through features like stemming, lemmatization, spell check, phrase detection, case/accent sensitivity, and dictionary/synonym match
  • Aid keyword identification with autocomplete and suggestions
  • Pinpoint search to text or metadata and document sections (e.g., title, summary)

Advanced Results Processing

  • De-dup results list.
  • Options for results ordering (by rank, by date, by distance etc..)
  • Teasers (static or dynamic) and highlight hits within results list
  • Numeric and visual interpretation of results set such as count, histogram, tag clouds
  • Segment results by source, content type or other classification

Boost/Block Results

  • Boost individual pieces of content or content categories within results set.  Boosting may be absolute or relative
  • Block types of content from appearing in results set

Content Enrichment

  • Pass metadata or enhance metadata (automated) at time of index

Content/Source Support

  • Make unstructured content (e.g., PDFs, HTML, ASCII, video) and structured content (e.g., RDBMS, XML) searchable

Contextual Navigation

  • Navigation elements based on defined taxonomies or facets, identified entities (e.g., person's name, company name) and/or topics (e.g., health) interpreted within the search results set
  • Limit navigation choices to those relevant to returned result set (dynamic navigation)

Entity Extraction

  • Identify/tag entities (e.g., company names), topics and summaries within content
  • Customize for industry or user base

Incremental Indexing

  • Allows updates to the index to be available for search in almost no time

Query Analytics

  • Monitor and report on query behavior

Related Links/View Similar

  • Provide links to content that is similar to a document, based on document vector analysis

Relevancy Tuning

  • Tune the algorithm that ranks results
  • Define factors and weights used for calculating relevancy
  • Create multiple profiles for ranking


  • FAST scales in 3 dimensions: content, query traffic (QPS), and index latency

Search-Driven Portals

  • Develop portals driven by search that combine mini search results lists (“searchlets”), each with its own source, results list and relevancy model
  • Tailor searched content and "push search results" to audience, role or topic.  Provide synthesis of information such as charts, histograms, etc on search results


  • Enforce content-level security

User Experience Control

  • Configure and manage the user experience with a variety of tools such as relevancy tuning, dictionary/synonym/thesaurus management, search profile management and customizable UI

Using the FAST ESP Add-Ons you can enable following features:




Advertising Network

  • Administer your own advertising network for contextual ads

FAST AdMomentum

Data Cleansing

  • Cleanse, normalize and standardize data (e.g., product information) coming from multiple sources or external parties
  • Unify view of data for a single entity (e.g., 360 customer view across all data sources)

FAST Data Cleansing

Feature Content/ Promote Products

  • Spotlight individual content pieces (e.g., new report), products or services based on keywords and context of user’s search

FAST Featured Content / Impulse

Federated Search

  • Unify results from multiple sources, both internal (e.g., other business units) and external (e.g., partner content, general web results)
  • Merge results set  (Deep Federation) or keep results separated by source

FAST Unity

Geo Targeting

  • Narrow search results and tailor experience based on explicitly defined or interpreted geographic location
  • Show distance of result from geographic point

FAST GeoSearch


  • Provide search experience tailored to mobile device
  • Limit search to mobile-friendly formatted sites.  Pinpoint geography and tailor experience. Match experience to particular mobile device

FAST Active Mobile

Topic Monitoring

  • Allow users to monitor information over time – changes, trends – through saved searches

FAST Monitored Content

The text above is abridged for a blog post. I will cover some of these in more details in future posts.

Let me know your thoughts on the feature set. As a SharePoint developer/user, which feature excites you most? What feature is missing? Which feature would you like me to cover in more detail?

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