Microsoft Enterprise Search

This weeks FASTForward ’09 conference has brought more news on Microsoft’s Enterprise search plans.

Microsoft have announced that they will integrate the recently acquired technology into Sharepoint 14 (the next release due late 2009/early 2010) to beef up it’s search capabilities.

Fast adds more sophisticated user-interface elements, like thumbnail and preview views; cluster support and more compute-intensive tasks like entity abstraction and the creation of relationships between concepts, explained Jared Spataro, Director Enterprise Search (via Mary Jo Foley).

The new entity will be known as “Fast Search for Sharepoint”¬†and MS have said that customers will existing Sharepoint CALs will be able to use those to access the new Fast Search servers once available, though they’ll of course have to buy the new server licences.

It also seems that current Sharepoint Enterprise customers will be able to purchase “ESP for Sharepoint” licences to gain access to high-end search features before the arrival of Sharepoint 14.

Kirk Koenigsbauer, general manager for Microsoft’s Office business platform group said Sharepoint & FAST together will give customers “50 per cent or greater cost savings over what they pay today…We are going to make the business productivity solution really more cost effective”.

We will also see the release of “Fast Seach for Internet Business”, which is a version specially tuned for web sites. This is slated to beta 2nd half of 2009…

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