I wanted to blog about this one for a very long time but all I had to watch my mouth shut up until the official declaration. Well – no more waiting! Finally it's out in the open: say a big fat hallo to Search Server 2008! As you may have figured out from the product's name, Search Server 2008 is the new guy in Microsoft's enterprise-search family and it comes with a lot of new/improved bonuses for search fans like me. So, as of November 6 (which is today…), you can finally download and test the RC version (see link at the end of this post) and get your hands on Microsoft's new search toy.
OK. That's nice but why do we need Enterprise search product? We have our Google and Live Search so why not using them instead? Well, the answer is you could but it will work far worse that it does on the Web. You see, Enterprise Search is very different from Internet Search since our goal in the organization is usually to index structured and unstructured data stored inside corporate applications – a task that has very little to do with the Web Search engines. Search Server 2008 comes to address this problem. It was actually designed to provide a full solution for the inner-organization search and address all of the challenges in the way.
But there's more. In my opinion, the product that is probably the coolest one in the new family it the Search Server Express version. The Express version is built on the same core search engine of MOSS 2007, uses the same centralized administration console and features and it comes free of charge! It actually contains some huge additions like the new federated-search functionality that is very much needed in MOSS's current version. And even though it's going to be a free product, Express Server 2008 won't come any limit or small words in the license agreement (such as the number of documents in a single index like in the MOSS for Search version). So what's left for the full Search Server 2008, you ask? Don't worry – we still have plenty of things in there such as high-availability and load-balancing capabilities as well as an enhanced version of the BDC feature.
But that's not all – Microsoft will ship the final Search Server 2008 product with some new and very much anticipated protocol handlers that will allow indexing a whole bunch of 3rd party systems such as EMC's Documentum, IBM's FileNet and more. And if that's not enough, the federation search will also support the OpenSearch standard so you can basically take this federation idea anywhere. By the way, those features will be available to MOSS's versions as well in one of the planned Service Packs that will be released in 2008.
Well, enough talking! How do you get started?
- The RC version is already out there! Download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/
- Compare the different version of the Search Server products and choose the one that is most fitted to your needs. A full comparison table can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/products.aspx
- Wanna see it first? You can check out some of the screens in here and get some first imprecation regarding the product's look and feel.
So – Are you still here!?