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Your customers expect you to be 'search experts'. Can you deliver?

Enterprise Search with SharePoint technologies is an industry in itself. Whilst a good understanding of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a great start, you will find that a successful search solution requires much more than setting up a few content sources through the administrative interfaces.

You need to ask yourself the questions below (and many more besides). If you don't, then rest assured your customers will...

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We are more than willing to work with you on any engagement to add the answers. We can also provide in-depth technical training for your consultants.

Just some of your questions...

The Search Landscape

From client-side search technologies to the many server-side products, there's a lot out there. Your solution depends on smart product selection...

» What's the scoop around Google Search Appliance vs MOSS?
» And how about WSS vs MOSS?
» Now, what about Microsoft Search Server vs MOSS?
» And can MOSS and WDS really work together?

Farm Architecture

You can get the same search funtionality on a single server as for a fully-scaled farm architecture. Now you need to consider those pesky non-functional requirements, such as scalability, performance, availability, and more...

» How do you support 100 users? 1,000? 10,000? 100,000?
» How can you search across 10 million items? 500 million?
» How do you lay out your farm?
    » Collapsed Web front ends and query servers?
    » Dedicated index server?
    » Dedicated query server?
    » Multiple query servers?
    » Multiple index servers?
» How do you ensure query server availability?
    » And, of course, how about performance?
» What about index servers?
    » Can you actually provide high availability?
    » And exactly how do you ensure indexing performance?
» Now what about security partitioning?
» What's the truth about federation?

Capacity Planning

The size of the corpus influences the space you need for indexing. But that's far from the complete story...

» Are you going to estimate or measure corpus size?
» Do you have starting estimates for required index space?
» What factors affect corpus-to-index ratios?
   » Is corpus uniqueness a factor?
   » Do you understand diminishing uniqueness with size?
   » What shadow merge space requirements are there? 
» Incidentally, what about search database size?
   » And why is all the documentation so wrong in this respect?


So the story from Microsoft is that you can customize Search Center without coding. How does that stand up?

» Do you understand all of those Web Part properties?
   » Are you really sure?
   » How about that Cross Web Part Query ID property??
» How are queries really run by Search Center?
   » What is a Keyword query?
   ยป An SQL query???
   » And when do they get used?
   » And incidentally, why does the RSS link sometimes vanish?
» Is Search Center always appropriate for your customer?
   » How far can you go with XSLT customization?
   » And when should you stop attempting the impossible?


OK, so you found the SDK, learned the MSSQLFT syntax, and started programming with the object model or Web service. Nice work, but...

» How can you add the power that Search Center ignores?
» What hidden features did Search Center provide?
    » And how can you implement them?
» What about that Web Service?
    » What doesn't it do?
    » Can you work around its omissions?


First of all, ask yourself this: Why do YOU switch from to (or vice versa)? Well, it's a relevancy thing...

» How are search results ranked?
» What are the inputs?
» What are the outputs?
» What the heck can you do about it?
And there's more...

Enterprise Search with MOSS is such a huge area, that we don't have space to classify all the questions you need to ask yourself. Even those questions that your customer may not ask you will probably still need to be answered at some point. Especially if you want to stand out from your competition...

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