WEBINAR: Tactics for Extending Unified Search to the Four Corners of Your Global Enterprise
SharePoint 2010 has many new search features. Let me list the few that I think are the most compelling:
Enhanced People Search
One of the most compelling features found in SharePoint Search 2010 is around People Search. In MOSS 2007, users would often have difficulty finding people because they weren’t sure how to spell the person’s name and MOSS lacked wildcard capability. In Addition to that, Faceted Search was not available. Faceted Search is quite useful in that in gives end users the ability to refine a People Search result by department, skill set, job title, etc. These limitations are covered in detail in Martin’s Post. SharePoint 2010 Search now supports Wildcard and Faceted Search out of the box. SharePoint 2010 People Search also supports Phonetic Search which is a really impressive. This feature will search based on how a name sounds. So if I search on Brian, when in fact the users name is Bryan, it will find a match.
Business Connectivity Services
Business Connectivity Services or BCS for short is Microsoft latest and greatest framework for building connectors. It offers many advantages over its predecessor in MOSS which is called Business Data Catalog (BDC). For starters, a connector built with BDC could only be used to search database content whereas BCS can connect into unstructured repositories as well. This is important for most large organizations that use ECM systems other than SharePoint.
Data consumed by a BCS connection can presented to the user in many different ways. Data can be exposed through Office 2010, a SharePoint 2010 dashboard, and of course in a search result. In contrast, BDC can only present data in a search result.
One caveat to the benefits mentioned above is that BCS still only addresses half of the security issues associated with connecting to an enterprise system such as SAP, Dynamics, SalesForce, etc. BCS can authenticate to the target system through single sign on but it can’t map group and role level security to Active Directory. If you intend to index non-Active Directory systems with BCS, you will have your work cut out for you if security is important to you.
Another significant search improvement in SharePoint 2010 Search is scalability. MOSS Search was architected in such a way that scalability was limited. The upper limit on items in a search index was 50 Million. While this may seem ample for most organizations, Enterprise Search is starting to deliver on its promise of providing a unified view of all Enterprise Information. Increasingly, organizations are connecting to structured content in ERP, CRM, and custom applications. This can dramatically increase the size of the index, as each record is treated as an item. With the availability of Business Connectivity Services, and Microsoft ISV partners providing pre-built connectors into line of business systems, organizations will increasingly attempt connect and surface line of enterprise information through a search interface.
SharePoint 2010 Search also enables multiple crawlers which will increase the speed with which the index can be built, an important feature to insure the data in the index is as fresh a possible.
Read this post to see how you can utilize search-first migration to upgrade from MOSS 2007 to SharePoint 2010.
Tags: SharePoint Migration
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