Microsoft completed the acquisition of an enterprise search company, FAST Search
& Transfer. For those who used MOSS 2007, FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) could be integrated
as a separate server product, via various web parts. But as an important result of this acquisition,
Microsoft has developed FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint that is a fully integrated search
server engine, one that deeply supports SharePoint search functions.
For end users, FAST Search Server 2010 provides a very visual and dynamic user experience, with
the following capabilities added to SharePoint 2010 Search:
Thumbnails and previews for documents — Word and PowerPoint files in the search result
will be displayed with a thumbnail of the cover page. Moreover, PowerPoint files can be previewed
in the results list without opening the file, either with a PowerPoint client or with Office
Web Applications. These capabilities can help end users visually find the expected content.
Figure 17-3 shows an example.
View in browser — By using Office Web Applications, Office files can be opened in the
browser, without installing the thick client on the computer.
Visual Best Bets — Best Bets are well-known from MOSS 2007, and can also be found in
SharePoint 2010. But with FAST Search, you also can define Visual Best Bets, which are pictures
or videos that are Best Bets for several keywords.
Deep refiners with counts — The Shallow Refinement Panel is also available in SharePoint 2010
Search with the capability of refining results by the most important metadata. However, only
FAST Search provides the capability of result refining on metadata associated with all results.
Moreover, FAST Search provides more customization capabilities, and shows counts for each of
User Context from User Profiles — User Profiles might store a lot of information about each
user, and SharePoint 2010 provides some very powerful social capabilities based on these profiles.
From a Search perspective, results can be targeted by contextual user information.
User Contexts can be built by using User Profile properties, so that they make sub-groups of users, and can be associated with the following:
· Best Bets
· Visual Best Bets
· Document promotion/demotion
· Sorting on any property — Each property can be the base of sorting, configured in the “Sort
· Similar Search — With this link for each result, users can get a new result set based on the
search of the selected search result item.
· Broader, better language support — FAST Search supports language-specific word breaking
and stemming (via FAST lemmatization by reduction), spellcheck, and antiphrasing.
· Richer query language — In FAST Search, custom queries can be set up using the native query
language for FAST. This provides a complete toolbox, even in the case of advanced queries.
For administrators, FAST Search Server 2010 is a highly capable and easy-to-manage search engine
that offers the following:
· Extreme scale-out up to more than 500 million items
· A content processing pipeline
· Entity extraction
· Tunable relevance ranking
· Easy setup of User Context, Visual Best Bets, promotion/demotion
· Easy-to-configure sorting and refinement