How to Plan for Search in Office SharePoint Server 2007

How to Plan for Search in Office SharePoint Server 2007



Planning search is an important part of planning any deployment of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. If you devote time to plan how search is implemented, you can save time in the future and can reinforce the effectiveness of other business processes. See Plan search articles on TechNet.

Planning carefully for search can prepare you for an initial limited deployment. You can continue to refine your search implementation, such as adding additional crawled content to the content index. Using an effective planning process can help make your search solution more effective, even if you implement the solution in stages or your needs continue to evolve after initial deployment.

You should also plan the following practical aspects of using search features:

  • What roles will be performed by the people who will manage the search features.

  • Whether you want to customize search Web Parts or the Search Center site (Enterprise edition only).

  • Whether you want to use custom search applications.

  • Whether you need to include data from external sources.

Why two search services?

Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides two search services: Office SharePoint Server Search and Windows SharePoint Services Help Search. Each of these services can be used to crawl, index, and query content, and each service uses a separate index.

The Office SharePoint Server Search service is based on the search service that is provided with earlier versions of SharePoint Products & Technologies, but with many improvements. You should use the Office SharePoint Server Search service to crawl and index all content that you want to be searchable (other than the Help system).

The Windows SharePoint Services Help Search service is the same service provided by Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, although in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 it is called the Windows SharePoint Services Search service. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 uses this service to index site content, index Help content, and serve queries.

As its name implies, in Office SharePoint Server 2007 the purpose of the Windows SharePoint Services Help Search service is to enable searching of the Help system that is built into Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Because the Windows SharePoint Services Help Search service uses an index that is separate from the other search service, users' queries in the Search box for the Help system return hits for only Help content. If you do not want users to be able to search the Help system, you do not need to start this service.

Identify your search team  

Before you begin planning the features and deployment of the Office SharePoint Server Search service for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, you should understand the role of the search planning team. Involve the following administrators in planning for search:

  • Shared Services Provider (SSP) administrators, who manage large content sets within a server farm or across multiple farms. SSP administrators understand the high-level content needs of the organization and what information is important for users across their content set.

  • Site collection administrators, who manage the specific content needs of a single site collection, often scoped to a division or specific organizational purpose or product line.

  • Application administrators, who manage the end-user experience, which includes defining keywords, Best Bets, and scopes. Administrators must plan the end-user search experience at the site collection level, but they can also plan it for individual sites.

  • IT administrators, who plan architecture and topology details for one or more server farms in the organization based on the content needs identified by others. Typically, IT administrators are not concerned with content except as it affects IT operations such as availability, reliability, and capacity planning.

The search planning process encompasses the following major steps:

  1. You identify the content managed by SSP administrators and site collection administrators during content planning, and content needs are reflected in the taxonomy developed for the organization. For more information, see Determine the information architecture of your site.

  2. Site collection administrators and SSP administrators consider the search capabilities they want to implement to meet the content needs, and communicate the required capabilities to IT administrators and application administrators.

  3. The high-priority content needs are addressed in IT planning and deployed in a pilot deployment, and then other content needs are met in successive waves of planning.

  4. When there is sufficient content, and the search capabilities for that content are available, the initial deployment is made available to the entire organization.

  5. Depending on the amount of content and level of planning detail, planning and implementation continue after initial deployment.

To deploy the Office SharePoint Server Search service, each of the types of administrators listed in the previous section is required. To perform regularly scheduled operations, you will need an SSP administrator and a site collection administrator, at a minimum. The same people who are on the search planning team might also be involved in the deployment and operations phases, but this can vary between organizations.

See these additional articles to continue the search planning process:

  • How to plan for crawling content in Office SharePoint Server 2007
  • How to plan the end-user search experience in Office SharePoint Server 2007

 


 

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