Enterprise Search Strategy and MOSS Search

I love to ask customers, What is your enterprise search strategy?  Usually, I get a strange look like I’m speaking a foreign language but on occasion I get an answer that usually includes multiple products, that may or may not integrate together, at least not easily.  On the flip side, I often get asked by customers about our search story.  Some are confused by the number of “different search offerings” they see and question how they come together.  Well guess what?  There is a very good vision and this vision is coming to reality.  Our enterprise search strategy includes 3 areas: intranet, desktop and internet.  Let’s start with where we are today and then the future.








SharePoint 2003

Windows Desktop Search

  • Windows XP / Win2k03




A pretty good story.  One of the components I find that people don't know about is desktop search.  This is delivered via Windows Desktop Search v2.6.5.  This indexes documents, email, etc from your local hard drive.  There are also add-ins to expand its indexing capability.  It can also be configured to search your intranet (ie, SharePoint) and internet content.  WDS can be configured via group policy so that network admins can control it’s desktop behavior.


I have gotten totally dependent on this.  I used to organize my Outlook email into a mangled hierarchy of folders but now this dinosaur approach has been replaced with WDS.  If you have not installed this, you really need to go check it out.  You too will become a believer.


Future (end of year ‘06)






SharePoint 2007


· LOB access via BDC

· Knowledge Network

· Standalone search SKU

Windows Desktop Search 3.0


· Common search engine for Outlook 2007 Windows Vista


Windows Live


Windows Live Search Center (beta August ’06)


  • WDS 3.0 is search engine for desktop applications like Vista and Outlook 2007.  It also integrates OOTB with SharePoint 2007.  Oh by the way, MOSS and WSS v3 now use the same engine in case you didn’t know.
  • SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) is the server-side story for enterprise search and therefore extremely complementary to the desktop story of WDS.  As I’ve mentioned before TOTALLY integrated.  Did I mention they were integrated?  MOSS will come in two flavors, Standard and Enterprise.  Both flavors provide improved relevancy ranking capability vs SPS 2003, people search and extensibility with Knowledge Network (KN) for SharePoint.  What is KN?  I knew you’d ask.  The Enterprise flavor also includes line of business integration with the BDC.
  • Business Data Integration for SharePoint 2007.  MOSS search provides integration from line of business applications with the new technology called the business data catalog (BDC).  This is MAJOR exciting, and don’t miss this point: this is crucial capability for an enterprise search strategy and a key differentiator for the MOSS story.  The BDC provides capability to search (and integrate into SharePoint if desired) structured data from back-end systems like SAP, Siebel, Oracle, etc.  This integration is based on ADO.NET providers and Web service utilization and therefore is extensible.
  • SharePoint Server for Search is a standalone search product.  This product installs on top of WSS v3 and comes in 2 different “sizes”, Standard and Enterprise with the difference being the number of documents that can be indexed.  The search SKUs don’t include KN capability or BDC functionality.

Well, that’s impressive!  Oh, I know we’re talking about search, but keep in mind MOSS is more than just search.  MOSS is a complete collaboration, Web content management, Business Intelligence framework.  Search is the icing on a very BIG delicious cake.


Hold on, wouldn’t it be great if you could issue one search query and have that query “federated” across multiple data repositories and across the intranet, desktop, internet, all at the same time?  Returning a summary of the results to a single UI?  I’m glad you asked.


Windows Live Search Center is the product for you.  I have been testing this for about 3 weeks now and I love it.  It will be entering beta soon so stay tuned.


Ok, now I’m done, at least for now.....ok one last thing.  Let's have a chat about your enterprise search needs and strategy.....