To make a long story short, I believe that FAST has always offered terrific enterprise search products, but unfortunately configuring/customizing or even merely understanding them hasn’t always been easy.

In this new web 2.0-almost-3.0 era it is sad that such amazing products are still not used as well as they could be in some projects, just because people don’t know how to do it and, in many cases, don’t even know where to get more information on how to do it.

This blog is an attempt to change this (or at least minimize it :)).

And talking about sharing information, here is a list of links and references about FAST Search for SharePoint that I keep on Skydrive.

18 Responses to About

  1. Could you please do a series on what business users can do to improve their search results? IE: metadata, site columns, content types, search scopes, best bets, how search works on the front end, etc. Not everyone has FAST yet, so we want to prepare business users so that when they do get it, they will be smiling.

    It would be an extremely useful series for my entire user base.

    • That is a brilliant idea, Veronique! I will definitely add this to my list of topics to cover here.

      I’ve heard a few other people asking me the exact same thing in the past few weeks, so I guess this is indeed a trending topic now that a large number of people start to explore search a little more deeply in SharePoint 2010.

      Thank you for the great tip!


  2. ramesh says:

    Hi Leo,

    I am Ramesh who attended your session on Fast Architecture in Sharepoint Saturday couple of days ago in New York City. It was a great presentation and I really learned a lot on FAST Search.

    If you recall i asked an question on how to do custom mapping – Filter the search results based on the roles, permissions defined in Oracle database and show only the relevant search outputs to the user. In fact, In my office, we have Informix instead of Oracle, and I am trying to accomplish the same.

    Could you please suggest on how to do it and also would appreciate, if you could provide me any links for the same.

    Thanks a lot,

    EMail Rameshusa@gmail.com

  3. Adrian Murphy says:

    “And talking about sharing information, here is a list of links and references about FAST Search for SharePoint that I keep on Skydrive.”

    Leo – can you update the link as it no longer works.

    • Hi Adrian!

      I’ve just checked the link and it still works for me. The only thing it will ask is that you login with your Live ID to be able to open the OneNote Notebook I have on SkyDrive.

      What error are you getting?


  4. de1ph says:

    I’m currently working on a project that involves dealing with FS4SP.
    I have a list of websites that use sharepoint, but I’m not sure which ones are using FAST.
    Do you know if there is any way (by looking at HTML or headers for example) to determine whether a particular website is using FS4SP?

    I would be very grateful if you could help me with that

    • Hi there!

      I don’t believe there is a way for you to tell by looking at the HTML or headers if the site is using FS4SP or not. The only way I think you would be able to check this for sure it would be by looking at the Application Association settings for the Web Applications you are interested in, and inspecting if they are using the FAST Query SSA or the SharePoint SSA.


      • de1ph says:

        Thanks a lot for your reply.
        I don’t have access to admin side of the website – so I guess I won’t be able to check ‘Application Association’ settings.
        I noticed one thing though – some website are using ‘q’ as the name of the search input field while the others use ‘k’. I was wondering if one of them would be standard for FS4SP?

      • No, the “s” and “k” parameters are pretty much standard between SharePoint Search and FS4SP.

        If you have access to the settings at the Search Core Results web part in the search center, you should be able to identify if results are being returned from FAST or not. If the search center is using FAST Search, then the Search Core Results web part will be configured to “Local FAST Search Results” (as opposed to simply “Local Search Results”).

        Hope that helps!


  5. de1ph says:

    Thanks a lot for your help!
    So, for example, I’m looking at 2 websites:

    Is there any way to say whether it’s fast just by looking at the results page? I don’t see any hints for “Local FAST Search Results”, the only thing that I can think of is ‘k’ for search parameter, but as you said – it’s not a good indicator.

    Another thing that I noticed is that both of them are using ‘WebForm_OnSubmit’ javascript function – I thought maybe it’s something specific to FS4SP?

    • Just by browsing to these URLs (which I just did), it is not possible to tell which search engine they use behind the scenes. You would need some level of admin rights to be able to inspect this. Either at the search center level (to check the Search Core Results Web Part, as I mentioned before) or at the farm level (to check the Application Association Settings).


  6. Leo,
    Great Blog all around! I support SharePoint (particularly SP Search) and have been working to ramp into FAST Search as well. A few months ago, I started blogging and just found your blog while researching for a post. I can honestly say that I’ll be a regular reader going forward and have even created a prominent link to your page. You have a treasure trove of info here and it’s much appreciated!

    Good luck with your new ventures (and sorry to hear you’ve left MSFT before having the chance to work with you)


    • Thank you for such a nice comment, Brian!!

      It makes me very happy to hear about people in Support excited about ramping up with new products and interested in blogging as well. I always thought it was wonderful to have people from inside the company pushing stuff out in a straightforward manner to help others (customers/partners/etc.) understand our products better.

      Thank you for the good wishes on my new ventures and all the best for you over there at MSFT and with your blog. Keep posting! 🙂


  7. Hi, I am currently doing security trimming in SharePoint 2013 using a security pre-trimmer. Do you know whether this disables deep refiners?

    I am certain post-trimmers and deep refiners are incompatible, but what about pre-trimmers? The book “Professional SharePoint 2013 Development” says “Secondly, deep refiners are impossible with late binding.” This would mean: pre- and post-trimmer. But then it says “Pre-trimmer (ISecurityTrimmerPre) — This is a new capability, which rewrites the query
    prior to sending it to the index” – which sounds like it could be early enough for deep refining to still work.

    Documentation is a bit scarce on this topic, so I would greatly appreciate clarification on this topic!

    • Hi Heinrich!

      I haven’t explored much of SharePoint 2013, so I really don’t know the answer to your question. But I’ve forwarded it to Igor, a friend who still works with SharePoint 2013 and has been posting here on the blog for the past few months, to see if he has any thoughts on it.


    • Hi Heinrich! Igor did some research on this and here is what he found:

      With SP2013 Search, deep refiners are supported with pre-security trimming. Heinrich is correct in that post-security trimming is incompatible with deep refiners due to potential information leakage.

      Hope that helps!


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