We waited an waited and finally it's here. It's called the Ontolica Wildcard for MOSS 2007 and it's free, for unlimited amount of user and for as many servers as you like! How nice is the sound of that, huh?
This greatly anticipated wonder belongs to a company named Mondosoft which is a long lasting Gold Partner of Microsoft. Mondosoft considers itself to be the pioneers in the area of Organizational and Enterprise Search as well as Behavior Analytics and they've actually got something to show for it. They've developed some great solutions in that department (even a separate Enterprise Search engine prior to MOSS/SPS) but the I think we'll find the golden cup to be Ontolica.
Ontolica is a collection of modules built on top of the MOSS 2007 search engine that improves the SharePoint's search functionality in some very crucial places. Some of the new feature provided in this package are Image search, a rich Metadata search, nice Federated search and some Drill down options for search results. However, the KILLER feature is of Ontolica has to be the Wildcards support and as you probably already understood – it also comes as a separate and free package and you don't have to buy the whole suit. I've heard about that solution for some time now and It was 2 days after one of our customers decided to start developing this feature. Well, I've joined the beta program and have been using it for quite some time now with great success. It's everything you expected the original MOSS Search Center will provide in the Wildcards area. By the way, it worked so great that the original customer demanded it to be installed it on the production server ("Beta Shmeta" he called it "We need it it looks like MOSS himself crashes more often"). Now that's what I call a very enthusiastic customer…
Button line: Why waste hundreds of hours developing your own wildcard search, when you can get it for free, with no strings attached. If you want it – just do the following and easily enough add Wildcards to the list of features you provide in your MOSS implementation:
- Go to the Ontolica download page
- Fill out a basic registration form
- Install the package and deploy the features in the farm.
So that's settled then. No development. No waiting for SP1. Wildcards is here NOW!