Plan for search (Windows SharePoint Services)

Applies To: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0


Topic Last Modified: 2009-04-14

In this article:

  • About search in Windows SharePoint Services version 3

  • Plan for search administration

  • Link to worksheet

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 uses the SharePoint search technology used by Office SharePoint Server 2007, rather than relying on Microsoft SQL Server full-text searching as previous versions of Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services did.

Most of the search capabilities for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 are configured automatically during installation, leaving few options for administrators to plan and configure. There are a few settings for content access accounts and search servers that can be configured, however, and it is a good idea to consider the implications of these settings before deployment.

About search in Windows SharePoint Services version 3

Search for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is straightforward:

  • Scalability   Search covers a single site collection. Only SharePoint content in the site collection can be crawled. You cannot crawl databases, mail servers, application servers, or Web sites and file shares outside of the site collection. In a deployment with more than one site collection, each site collection provides search only for content on that site collection, and there is no aggregation of search results across site collections.

  • **Content sources   **One content source is automatically created for each Web application in the site collection, and no administration details are exposed to administrators.

  • **Search scopes   **Search is automatically scoped to current context and limited to site and subsites, list or library, or folder. These search scopes appear in the search dropdown menu. If you are looking at a subsite, you cannot search over the entire site collection, but you can search over all of the subsites of the current site. Scope management is not exposed to administrators.

  • **Crawling   **Full crawls occur automatically without scheduling and without administrator control.

  • **Error logging   **Administrators can view a limited set of error message types, including:

    • Authorization messages.

    • Propagation messages.

    • Hardware failure and data corruption messages.

  • **IFilters   **A limited set of IFilters to search content in certain formats are included with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Other IFilters are available by installing the Microsoft Filter Pack or through other distributors. For information installing and registering additional IFilters that are available from Microsoft, see How to register Microsoft Filter Pack with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 ( For information about IFilters available from distributors, see Filter Central (

The search service runs on one or more servers in the farm, depending upon the servers you select during deployment and configuration. Search consists of search query and index roles. Search queries are performed using the network service account, or another account selected during installation. A separate content access account is used when crawling content sources and indexing content. A small set of administration tasks are available to site collection and farm administrators.

People using a site collection type search terms into the search box, and select a search scope from the dropdown menu. Search results appear in order of relevancy.

Plan for search administration

The simple one-click installation of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 automatically configures the following settings:

  • The search service and content access account use the network service account.

  • The single server is automatically assigned both the search and index roles.

More complex deployments enable you to select different accounts for the search service and the content access account. Which account you use depends upon the larger security considerations for your organization. Record your decision in the security planning worksheet.

You can enable multiple search servers, which gives you the ability to create large server farms. It is important to note that a particular content database is associated with a particular Windows SharePoint Services server, not with Web applications. You can also add multiple search servers for large site collections with many users. For more information about assigning search and indexing roles, see the capacity and performance planning documentation.

Because Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 search administration is relatively streamlined, you don't need a separate search planning worksheet for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. However, any decisions made about the search service account, the content access account, or the search and index roles should be recorded in the appropriate worksheets for security, capacity, and performance planning.

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable books for Windows SharePoint Services.

See Also

Other Resources

Joel Oleson's SharePoint Land: WSS 3.0 Server Roles and Installation Modes (