Every organization has unique search requirements. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint has the capability to customize the search experience so that it fits how your business and your people work. Specifically, with FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, you can:
• Deliver results that are contextually relevant.
• Search in the language of your business.
• Tune relevancy to improve accuracy.
• Customize the search platform to meet your specific indexing and search requirements.
• Configure the user interface to customize the search experience for information workers.
Enterprise search solutions from Microsoft enable you to:
Provide users with results that are meaningful and dynamically tailored to their jobs, roles, and functions within the organization. This means that your sales teams will be quickly able to find product information, collateral, and answers to RFP questions, while your engineering teams will see specifications and requirements documents at the top of their results sets. Site administrators can tailor search quickly and easily to deliver contextually relevant results the first time.
Give users the ability to use terms and languages that are unique to your business. Most organizations frequently use a set of internal names, acronyms, or code words. These words can be confusing to different groups, outsiders, or new members of your organization. Users will be able to use their own terminology to sort, refine, and query your content. Furthermore, advanced language support provides your employees the ability to find content written in its native language.
Ensure that searches provide accurate ranking for relevant results. The major reason that a user continues to use a search engine is if it returns relevant information near the top of the search results. Microsoft search gets better with social ranking capabilities by promoting popular documents. Site administrators will quickly and easily be able to create and deploy new custom ranking algorithms that are tuned meet multiple business demands simultaneously.
Provide a great out-of-the-box experience to get search up and running quickly. Additionally, provide a platform that grows with your business needs so that you can:
o Quickly access and crawl new content repositories.
o Add your users and business partners to the lists of extracted entities.
o Perform custom content processing such as sentiment analysis or machine translation.
o Tailor the user interface with custom SharePoint Web Parts or extend the ones that are available out of the box.
FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint provides an enterprise search platform for fulfilling these aims. As a brief overview, FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint includes a connector framework that enables the crawler to index files and metadata from various types of content repositories. It also provides an indexing engine that stores the crawled data in an efficient manner in index files, and it provides query servers, query object models, and user interfaces for performing searches on the indexed data.
You will learn more about each of these components later in this guide, but for now be aware that these components all work together to fulfill the aims and meet the requirements of enterprise search solutions.
This section provides a summary of the new and enhanced capabilities that FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint provides compared to the other search products from Microsoft. You can use this section to gain an overview of the value of implementing enterprise search solutions based on FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.
Visual Search Capabilities
The visual search capabilities provide an engaging, useful, and efficient way for information workers to interact with search results.
Word documents and PowerPoint presentations can be previewed directly in search results. A thumbnail image is displayed along with the search results to provide rapid recognition of information. This feature is part of the Search Core Results Web Part for FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, and the feature can be configured in that Web Part.
Scrolling PowerPoint previews
The PowerPoint document preview enables an information worker to browse the actual slides in the presentation.
Visual Best Bets
SharePoint Server 2010 Search keywords can have definitions, synonyms, and Best Bets associated with them. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint adds the ability for you to define Visual Best Bets for keywords.
These visual search elements are unique to FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.
Conversational Search Capabilities
The conversational search capabilities provide ways for information workers to interact with and refine their search results, so that they can quickly find the information they require.
Sort Results on Managed Properties
With FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, users can sort results on any managed properties, such as sorting by Author, Document Size, or Title. Relevance ranking profiles can also be surfaced as sorting criteria, allowing end users to pick a different relevance ranking as desired.
This sorting is considerably more powerful than sorting in SharePoint Server 2010 search. By default, SharePoint Server 2010 sorts results on each document's relevance rank. Information workers can re-sort the results by date modified, but these are the only two sort options in SharePoint Server 2010.
Deep Results Refinement
Refinement with FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint is considerably more powerful than refinement in SharePoint Server 2010.
SharePoint Server 2010 automatically generates 'shallow' refinement for search results that enable a user to apply additional filters to their search results based on the values returned by the query. 'Shallow' refinement is based on the managed properties returned from the first 50 results by the original query.
FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint enables you to specify whether a managed property can be used in a 'shallow' or 'deep' refinement. 'Deep' refinement is based on statistical aggregation of managed property values within the entire result set; ‘shallow’ refinement is just based on, by default, the first 50 results returned by the query. Using 'deep' refinement, you can find exactly what you are looking for, such as a person who has written a document about a subject, even if this document would otherwise appear down the result list. 'Deep' refinement can also display counts, and lets the user see the number of results in each refinement category.
You can also use the statistical data returned for numeric refinements in other types of analysis.
With FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, results returned by a query include links to 'Similar Results'. When a user clicks on the link, the search is re-defined and re-run to include documents that are similar to the result in question.
FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint documents that have the same checksum stored in the index will be collapsed as one document in the search result. This means that documents stored in multiple locations in a source system would only be displayed once during search with usage of the collapse search parameter. Collapsed results include links to 'Duplicates'. When a user clicks on the link, the search result displays all versions of this document.
Similar results and result collapsing are unique to FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint and are not provided in SharePoint Server 2010 search.
Contextual Search Capabilities
FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint allows you to associate Best Bets, Visual Best Bets, document promotions, document demotions, site promotions, and site demotions with defined user contexts in order to personalize the experience for information workers. You can use the FAST Search User Context link in the Site Collection Settings pages to define user contexts for these associations.
Relevancy Tuning by Document or Site Promotions
SharePoint Server 2010 enables you to identify varying levels of authoritative pages that help you tune relevancy ranking by site. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint adds the ability for you to specify individual documents within a site for promotion, and furthermore enables you to associate each promotion with user contexts.
SharePoint Server 2010 keywords can have one-way synonyms associated with them. With one-way synonyms when a query includes a synonymous term for a keyword, items that contain the keyword are returned. However, if a query includes the keyword, then items that contain the synonymous terms are not returned (unless they also contain the keyword).
FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint extends synonyms by enabling you to implement both two-way and one-way synonyms. With two-way synonyms, when a query includes a synonymous term for a keyword, items that contain the keyword are returned (just as for one-way synonyms). Furthermore, if a search expression includes the keyword, then items that contain the synonymous terms are returned, regardless of whether they also contain the keyword.
Managed Properties and Metadata creation
SharePoint Server 2010 enables you to create metadata property mappings (known as managed properties). FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint adds the ability for you to:
Enable stemming support and word forms for managed property values, when they are used by an information worker in a query.
Choose between static and dynamic summaries for display in search results. A dynamic summary will only display a hit-highlighted summary of the specific managed property in the result.
Define whether information workers can sort results on the managed property in question.
Define whether information workers can use the managed property in query operators or filters.
Define whether search results page can use the managed property as a query refiner or deep query refiner in results pages.
Define the priority associated with the managed property. The priority is one of the inputs into the ranking algorithm, and defines how documents with the search term in this property should be ranked against other documents that may have the search term in other properties.
Define how managed properties can be grouped into one or more full-text search-enabled indexes.
Property extraction identifies key information such as people, companies, and locations in documents. The properties can then be used to enhance the search experience, for instance by providing search result refinement based on the properties. You can improve the precision of the property extraction by editing the include lists and exclude lists for each property extractor. Excluded items are removed immediately, while included items take effect the next time the content is indexed. You can also create custom property extractors based on your organization's specific content using Windows PowerShell and SharePoint administration. Dictionary or Taxonomy based extractors, also called verbatim extractors, will allow you to extract managed properties based on a fixed list of known terms. Developers will also be able to create more dynamic extractors based on the FAST matcher framework and will be able to extend the document pipeline with specialized classifiers, entity extractors, or other processing can be used to support specialized scenarios.
The index schema in FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint includes rank profiles, which control how relevancy ranking is calculated for each item in search results.
A rank profile defines how relevancy calculations are performed when you search a full-text index. A rank profile consists of several components which are weighted when calculating an item's relevance. You can adjust the weights of a profile’s components to improve search result relevance. Rank profile components include the following:
Freshness. This component manages how the age of an item affects rank.
Proximity. This component manages how the distance between query terms affects rank.
Authority. This component manages how links between Web documents affect rank.
Query authority. This component manages how user selections in previous query results affect rank.
Context. This component manages how different managed properties within the associated full-text indexes contribute to the rank.
Managed properties directly impacting the rank. You can specify that the value of a numeric managed property is added to the rank, or you can specify that certain values of a managed property impact the rank. In the latter case you can, for example, define that documents of a given type (as defined by a specific managed property) will get a relevancy boost in the results.
You can tailor different rank profiles to different use cases, or you can enable advanced information workers to select different rank profiles for different queries.