February seems to be the favored month for Search roadmap updates in Microsoft. On Feb 10, 2009 the Microsoft Unveils New Enterprise Search Road Map press release disclosed a detailed road map from Microsoft for its enterprise search products, including the introduction of FAST Search for SharePoint and FAST Search for Internet Business. Since then, FAST based search solutions are getting implemented in a lot of Microsoft customers; mainly for - powerful content processing with deep navigation, customisable relevance and visual best bets, advanced linguistics and its extreme scalability and performance.

Almost a year since that date, on Thursday, February 04 there was a Innovation on Linux and UNIX post on the Microsoft Enterprise Search Blog by Bjørn Olstad.  A low key but significant update to our Enterprise Search roadmap. It has been reported widely in Tech websites and blogs (Microsoft to phase out its enterprise search offerings for Linux and Unix, Microsoft kills FAST's Linux and Unix search biz etc..)

Summarizing my understand of the updates for customers and partners implementing FAST based search solutions below:

1) Linux and Unix Support

  • 2010 products will be the last to include a search core (FAST ESP 5.3 core) that runs on Linux and UNIX. All future cores will be Windows only
  • FSIS and FSIA 2010 (check "Search solutions in Wave 2010" section below for the abbreviations) will be supported for 10 years from the date of release as per Microsoft's public support policy - 5 years mainstream + 5 years extended
  • Will ensure interoperate with non-Windows systems on both the front- and back-end. Search solution will crawl and index information regardless of where it lives or what format it is in—on UNIX, Linux, or Windows systems
  • Customer Upgrade Program is being introduced that will help customers evaluate Microsoft's hosted solutions and/or a Windows-based deployment

The reason for this decision is explained by Bjørn Olstad - focusing on Windows will enable significantly more innovation to customers per release.

2) FAST AdMomentum

  • FAST AdMomentum, the search-based advertising solution, is being discontinued

3) New SKUs

More SKUs provide more choices and flexibility (and complexity in some cases) to customers. I have tried to summarize them below :-)

Search solutions in Wave 2010: basically 2 kinds – one set powered by FAST and another that are powered by SharePoint.

a) Powered by FAST - Here's the complete list along with the abbreviations …

  • Search solutions for Business Productivity [i.e. for Intranet applications]
    • Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint (FS4SP)
    • Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for Internal Applications (FSIA)
  • Search solutions for Internet Sites [i.e. for Internet applications]
    • Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for Internet Sites (FSIS)
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites, Enterprise (FIS-E) - includes rights to FS4SP for use outside the firewall

Check the Information on FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint post for what's new in FAST Search Server 2010.

b) Powered by SharePoint – this list remains the same. You can refer to my previous post – Search Technologies for SharePoint 2010 Products for more details.

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • Search Server 2010 Express
  • Search Server 2010
  • SharePoint Server 2010

SharePoint versions in Wave 2010: FS4SP use rights are available in the Enterprise editions. Choices available now are ..

  • Solutions for Business Productivity
    • SharePoint + Standard CAL
    • SharePoint + Enterprise CAL - includes rights to use FS4SP but FS4SP server licenses needs to be purchased separately. So, in order to get FAST Search capabilities, customers must purchase SharePoint Server, Standard CALs, Enterprise CALs, and FAST Search for SharePoint (FS4SP)
  • Solutions for Internet Sites - 2 new SKUs have been introduced here
    • SharePoint for Internet Sites, Standard (FIS-S)
    • SharePoint for Internet Sites, Enterprise (FIS-E) - includes all the features in the SharePoint Enterprise CAL and includes rights to use FS4SP

4) Licensing Changes

  • For Internet solutions, licensing will be in the server mode only. Queries per second (QPS), content size and permitted purpose licensing modes are being discontinued. This will significantly simplify the licensing
  • There are changes in licensing model of other popular Add-ons like Recommendations


Need Help?

If you are a customer having licenses for SharePoint 2007 and/or FAST ESP, you might have queries on the upgrade options and/or step up options available to Wave 2010 product SKUs. Please contact the Microsoft representative for your account.