Federated Search Connectors allow a search solution based on any Microsoft Enterprise Search product - Microsoft Search Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft FAST Search for SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Search Server 2008, or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to pass a query to a target system and accept and display results from that system. For details and guidance refer to the Federated Search Connector Gallery for Enterprise Search

Following connectors were made available for download through the Microsoft Download Center yesterday:

Some of the connectors are available in 2 formats: .osdx (OpenSearch Description) and .fld (federated location definition)

Download .osdx files for the following products:

  • Search Server 2010
  • SharePoint Server 2010
  • FAST Search for SharePoint 2010

Download .fld files for the following products:

  • Search Server 2008
  • Office SharePoint Server 2007

For using the connectors in SharePoint 2010, refer to article - Manage federated locations (SharePoint Server 2010)

Federated Search in Windows

The same connectors can be used for federated search in Windows (Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2) too. Federated Search in Windows article describes Windows 7 support for search federation to remote data stores using OpenSearch technologies that enable users to access and interact with their remote data from within Microsoft Windows Explorer.

To try out a connector, just download its .osdx file and click on it. You should get a prompt like this:

Click on “Add” and you are ready to start searching.

Users can also perform enterprise searches from a Windows 7 client by using federation. When a user types a search query in the search box in Windows Explorer, the Windows 7 client can retrieve search results from Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and display the results in the Windows Explorer window where the user typed the query. Search the enterprise from Windows 7 (SharePoint Server 2010) article describes different ways that administrators and users can enable this search capability by installing one or more federated search connectors from SharePoint Server 2010 to the Windows 7 client.