A viable working Enterprise Search implementation is a difficult thing to obtain. No matter what product you choose, you will still need to make it work. The tools provided by the search solution can help you in getting there and ensuring that you don’t become just another statistic!
Several major ecommerce sites like Best Buy and Autotrader.com used FAST to better advertise to its customers, expose product significantly quicker to the customer, provide better navigation of search results and provide integration with OEM partners.A business data brokerage firm was able to provide more relevant results, increase user satisfaction, provide data from multiple disparate locations, create better customer retention, created collaborative data rating system and allowed for communication between subject matter experts.A community facilitator for the natural resource industry was able to create a B2B solution that provided dynamic drill/navigation of industry data, created automate extraction policies to mine for important data, was able to regionalize their search results, created a pay model for more high-end results, and improved their sales model by using relevancy.A major computer production company used FAST to improve economies of scale for support personnel. They significantly lowered call-center cost by directing users to search first, provided customers with more up to date support information and allowed their worldwide staff of engineers to user their native languages when performing a search.A global law firm used FAST to create a knowledge management solution that allowed them to reduce research personnel and created consolidated search experience. They significantly reduce ramp-up time of new lawyers, greatly improved relevant results with advanced content navigation, and provided better communication of best practices.
Installing FAST Search binaries is very simple. You should ensure that a couple of items are setup before you do the install:Create a user called SP_FASTEnsure the user is a local adminEnsure the login account has access to the SQL Server and has the dbcreator roleWhen performing the install, you should ensure the directory you install FAST Search too has plenty of space to support your index file.
This slide points out a few other helpful hints when installed FAST Search for SharePoint. Some of the bigger ones are:Turn off daylight savings timeEnsure your IP addresses are staticTurn off automatic updatesIf you are running antivirus on the FAST Servers, be sure to disable the scan of the FASTSearch\\bin directory as it can cause performance issues with the server.
Stand-alone (single server) deploymentA stand-alone deployment is an installation of FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint on a single server. All required components are installed on this server.A stand-alone deployment is useful when you want:A deployment for product evaluation or demonstrationA small-scale deployment with minimal administrative overheadA development or test environment
Multiple server deploymentA multiple server deployment has multiple servers with an installation of FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint services. During configuration, one server is defined as the admin server (administrative server) in the deployment. The admin server is the server where the administrative services are installed and run. The deployment is scaled out by adding one or more non-admin servers. A non-admin server does not have the administrative services set up, but connects to a running admin server in a multiple server deployment. The non-admin server runs services such as query matching, indexing and document/item processing.An XML-based deployment file, deployment.xml, specifies the distribution of components and services across servers.
If you are expecting to connect to the FAST Server from other network segments (like a DMZ), you should be aware of the various ports that are used in FAST Search for SharePoint.These ports should also be allowed between your SharePoint Farm and the FAST Search Farm.
In this diagram, you can see the various pieces of the FAST Search for SharePoint architecture and how it interacts with each of the external entities. We will explore each of these components throughout the rest of this course.
In this diagram you see the various FAST Search services. These services can be broken up and run on the different servers in the FAST Search Farm. In large installation of FAST, in is common to see these broken apart and running on a separate server for performance reasons.NOTE: In a single server installation, all of these run on the same machine.
The deployment file, deployment.xml, specifies the distribution of components and services across servers in a FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm. Each FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm has one deployment file. Each server in the farm can read the deployment file and determine the services that run locally on that server. Each server also determines the location of other services that it communicates with. The deployment file is a required input parameter when you run the configuration wizard or configuration script on the admin server. Non-admin servers will download the deployment file from the admin server, determine which services should run on the local server, and start these services.The completed deployment file to be used for the installation must be named deployment.xml. The FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint administrator can reconfigure the deployment by adding or removing servers or services in the deployment file. Reference this TechNet article for the schema of the deployment.xml file:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff354931.aspx
In this slide, you see a set of the major xml elements that are possible in the deployment.xml file.
In this slide, you see the remainder of the major xml elements that are possible in the deployment.xml file.
In a FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint deployment you will find two different SSAs on the parent SharePoint farm, a FAST Query Search Service Application (SSA) and a FAST Content Search Service Application (SSA). The SharePoint farm interfaces with FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint through these two SSAs.FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint retrieves content for indexing using one or more of the supported indexing connectors. The FAST Content Search Service Application (SSA) is the default indexing connector and retrieves content from various content sources such as SharePoint content repositories, Web servers, Exchange folders, line of business data and file servers. You can use other FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint indexing connectors for more specific content retrieval scenarios.FAST Query Search Service Application (SSA) - This SSA provides the query-side integration between the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm and the parent SharePoint farm. The Query SSA provides the following functionality: Serves as a gateway between a local or remote front-end Web server and the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farmContains query and crawl components for the people search functionality
Crawled properties are metadata extracted from content sources in order to make the data available for searching. Crawled properties are typically reported by the indexing connectors, but may also be created during item processing by an IFilter or a property extractor.A Crawled Property is uniquely defined by Name, Propset and VariantType.Each crawled property belongs to a crawled property category, which is a high-level grouping of crawled properties based on the iFilter and Protocol Handler (given by the Indexing connector used and data source) used to extract the metadata from the content. A subset of all crawled properties is automatically mapped to the default full-text index. This means that a simple keyword query will match the content of all these properties. A number of crawled properties contain metadata that is irrelevant or may have bad effect on the search relevance. The conditions that decide whether a crawled property will be automatically mapped are:Only crawled properties with variant types that map to a string or list of strings.Crawled properties that are known to provide undesired content in the search index are excluded by setting their IsMappedToContents property to “false”.Since every crawled property belongs to a category (determined by its propset), the category has a Boolean property (MapToContents) that sets the default value of the IsMappedToContents property of new crawled properties.
During document processing, FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint automatically recognizes more than 80 different languages in all common encodings. The text language and encoding can be defined in the metadata of a document, or it can be determined by an automatic process during document processing. The information is used to select the appropriate language-specific dictionaries and algorithms during document processing.
Managed properties are metadata that may be searched or used in other ways, such as being displayed in search results. The crawled properties will contain a large amount of different metadata properties. A key phase of your deployment planning is to determine the mapping of these crawled properties to managed properties. In the simplest form, a search index can contain the searchable representation of the body and title of a document. But you will quickly experience the power of mapping and indexing the various metadata of your content sources. By using the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint schema administration services, you can explore the actual crawled properties of the content sources and decide a mapping to managed properties. You will then be able to assign features to the managed properties that provide value-add to the end-user when they make his/her query. The default index schema provides default mappings that are adapted to common content formats. As you optimize the system for relevance, look at the quality of the content in managed properties, determine whether there are other crawled properties that have better quality for your content, and update the mappings. You should perform an initial tuning of the crawled property mapping on a test installation with a limited amount of content. This makes it much easier to test your changes.You can enable query refinement for a managed property using a refiner configuration.You can associate a managed property with one or more full-text indexes.AuthorityWeight of (complete and partial) anchor text boost Query AuthorityWeight of associated queries boostFreshnessWeight of freshness (what field to use and resolution)Field boostSet individual boost for Managed Properties. Can also set weight for all field boostsProximityWeight of proximity boostContextSet the weight of the context boost for the composite index. One can also set the weight individually per level (7 levels)QualitySet the weight of the quality boost. One can also set the weight individually per quality field
Fast Search for SharePoint 2010
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