Tuesday, December 29, 2009

10 reasons to consider FAST Search for SharePoint 2010

1) Content Processing Pipeline

For people familiar with the FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP), the good news is that the most valued capabilities of ESP have been brought into FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 and made easier to access and deploy through tight integration with the SharePoint management and development tools. The open framework in FAST ESP for creating custom content processing pipelines is a good example. Since it was first introduced in version 3 way back in 2002, FAST customers and partners have leveraged advanced content processing and advanced linguistic features to create a wide variety of novel search applications. This highly valued aspect of the FAST ESP will be available in FAST Search for SharePoint and has been architected and enhanced to take advantage of the SharePoint management interfaces and development tools like PowerShell.

2) Meta-data Extraction

Meta-data is used in search for faceted refinement, relevancy tuning, targeted queries (e.g. search only the authors field), and other general techniques designed to improve findability. The problem is that unstructured documents are often devoid of useful meta-data. The ability to automatically extract meta-data to create useful structure on otherwise unstructured documents is a feature of FAST ESP that will also available in FAST Search for SharePoint 2010. Importantly, FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 takes advantage of simple administrative tools and the concept of “managed properties” in SharePoint to support adding custom meta-data extractors very quickly.

3) Structured Data Search

Structured data search is possible with both search options in SharePoint 2010, but FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 adds an extra level of sophistication for searching data that contains numbers, dates, and other encoded and structured information. To start, the full FAST Query Language (FQL) is available to application developers who want the richness and expressiveness that FQL provides. This includes support for numeric and date data types, formula-based query operations, term weighting with the XRANK operator, and much more. Also, integration with the new Microsoft Business Data Connectivity services in 2010 means that ingesting structured data from external Line of Business applications is much easier in FAST Search for SharePoint.

4) “Deep” Refinement (Faceted Search)
Previously only available in SharePoint search through 3rd party add-ons, faceted search, called “refiners” in the default search interface (SharePoint Search Center), is now native in the out-of-box SharePoint 2010 search. FAST Search for SharePoint adds to this the ability to deliver faceted search across results sets of any size while retaining precise counts on the refinement facets. This is critical for research and analysis applications where precise counts on facets are important decision making criteria. (You can see examples of deep refiners on FAST ESP powered sites like scirus.com and dell.com.)

5) Visual Search (Document Thumbnails and Previews)

Visual document thumbnails and previewer Web Parts will be out-of-the-box with FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 to help users more quickly judge what is relevant in a search result list. This includes a graphical previewer for PowerPoint presentations based on Microsoft Silverlight that allows users to quickly find the “one slide” of interest without having to open up the entire presentation.

6) Advanced linguistics

The quality of search against text data is highly dependent on the ability to apply the right language-specific processing techniques. FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 builds on the FAST ESP heritage and Microsoft tools to include advanced language processing (linguistics) for dozens of languages, including optimized processing for Chinese/Japanese/Korean.

7) Visual best bets

SharePoint already supports the concept of search Best Bets – managed results delivered with the search for specific queries. FAST Search for SharePoint adds to this the ability to render visual best bests in the form of images and even videos. Management of search best bets, both standard and visual, is through the standard SharePoint administrative console.

8) Best-in-class development platform

FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 builds on the comprehensive development framework of SharePoint 2010. The customization options range from configuring out-of-the-box search behavior (best bets) and user interface controls (Web Parts), to extending existing functionality using public Web Part code and SharePoint Designer, to creating brand new components and functionality with the available APIs. For FAST ESP aficionados, no compromises have been made in the area of extensibility with FAST Search for SharePoint, but many of the customizations in ESP are now much easier to do.

9) Custom search experiences (per user/profile)

FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 includes the same level of relevancy tuning available to FAST ESP. It will be possible, as it is in ESP, to create custom relevancy models tuned to differences in content sources, application needs, and user contexts. User context simply means that different users can have different search “contexts” that enable experiences optimized for their specific business needs. User context can be used to set the search sources, relevance rank profile, linguistic processing features, and other search features by user or user group. In an enterprise search setting, this means that a Sales Director does not have to see the exact same results as a Product Designer for a given query, even if they are searching the same sources.

10) Extreme Scale and Performance

Scale and performance of the out-of-the-box SharePoint 2010 Search has been dramatically improved – with proven scalability to 100 million documents and more. For FAST Search for SharePoint 2010, the exact same scale-out model that exists in FAST ESP has been preserved to enable extremes of content (e.g. number of documents to search), queries (e.g. the number of queries or query rate), or both. This means search solutions that can support billions of documents and thousands of queries per second.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Migrating Content Database from SP 2007 to SP 2010

1) Find the content Database; These are listed under Central Admin->Application Management->Site Collection List

2) Backup the content database, You could alternatively detach it, and copy it. Just doing a backup in SQL Server Management studio is easier.

3) Restore content database to new server, Copy the BAK file to new server. Create an empty DB in Management Studio, restore from backup, you may need to change an option in the "options" tab of the restore dialog to get it to work. (Overwrite db).

4) Create Web App on SharePoint 2010

5) Remove Content Database from the new web app.

Now use STSADM to add restored DB to this web app

c:\program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extentions\14\bin on new server is where you can find the STSADM.

run this command from there. Which will upgrade the content db to 2010?
stsadm -o addcontentdb -url http://yourwebapp:port -databasename yourcontentdb -databaseserver yoursqlserver

6) Run ISSRESET from command prompt

Thursday, December 10, 2009

SharePoint 2010 - Databases

It looks like SharePoint 2010 more than doubles the number. My particular installation had 22 databases. I think this number can even grow even more as you activate more Service Applications. Most of the names are obvious, but I have commented on a few of them. Some of the databases have spaces in their names. The names are determined based upon how the service application was named.

• Application_Registry_Service_ – not sure if this is for the old Business Data Catalog or not.
• Bdc_Service_db_
• Managed_Metadata_Service_ – likely for the new metadata term store
• People_ProfileDb_
• People_SocialDb_ – new social tagging feature
• People_SyncDb_
• People_SyncDb__Service
• People_SyncDb__Sync
• PerformancePoint Monitoring Service_
• Search_Service_Application_CrawlStoreDb_ – labeled as admin in search dashboard
• Search_Service_Application_Db_ – labeled as index in search dashboard
• Search_Service_Application_PropertyStoreDb_ – labeled as query in search dashboard
• Secure_Store_Service_Db_
• SharePoint_AdminContent_ – CA database
• SharePoint_Config
• StateService_
• Web AnalyticsServiceApplication_Reporting_Db_
• Web AnalyticsServiceApplication_Staging_Db_
• Word Automatiation Services_
• WSS_Content – content database
• WSS_Logging – likely for analytics