Blogger: Larry Cannell
A little over a year after Microsoft acquired FAST the company outlined plans today for incorporating the high-end search technology with SharePoint in a forthcoming feature called “FAST Search for SharePoint.” The official press release is available here.
The high points of the FAST/SharePoint roadmap include:
- SharePoint “14” provides the basis for this deep integration with FAST.
- FAST Search for SharePoint will be included with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Enterprise Edition. However, customers will also need to purchase server-based licenses for all required FAST servers (this is the first SharePoint capability, which I can think of, that requires both client and server CALs).
- Customers who want to use FAST with their SharePoint environment now can purchase “ESP for SharePoint.” This does not provide the same capabilities expected with FAST Search for SharePoint but is still more sophisticated than SharePoint’s search (and likely to be similar to the free FAST webparts announced last year).
- Beta testing for Fast Search for SharePoint will be aligned with SharePoint “14.”
In an analyst meeting at the FASTforward 2009 conference yesterday, Microsoft briefly showed a couple of sample screenshots of mock-ups illustrating how FAST will integrate with SharePoint “14.” The first one was a faceted navigation UI showing facets in a left side menu (with “exact counts” next to each facet) on a page also showing related search queries, and featured content.
The second example showed an integration with SharePoint people search, providing the capability for phonetic name lookup, organization-based browsing, recently authored content, expertise identification, and filters using focus expertise, and other attributes.
Also revealed was the company’s long-term plans for FAST to provide the foundation for all enterprise search technologies from Microsoft. However, for the “14” release SharePoint search technologies will still provide the basis for Search Server Express, search in the standard edition of SharePoint, and Search Server.