If your organization is like most, documents you spend hours creating will "die" on your network drive after only a short period of time - never to be heard from again. When you've finished using the document for its immediate purpose, you and everyone else typically forgets about it.
Months or years later, a similar business problem arises and you recall that you solved this problem before. All the answers you need are tucked away inside that document you (or someone else) had created. Now, if only you could find that document again...
You realize that to bring this document back to life, you are going to have to go to the network graveyard and try to locate it again. After surfing the network drive for a half hour without success, you resign yourself to starting over and spending your valuable time re-creating the lost document again. What a nightmare!
Situations like this don't have to end in frustration and lost productivity. SharePoint's search engine is an invaluable business tool. In fact, it is one of the most powerful and time-saving features of the SharePoint platform. Not only does SharePoint index every word inside every document that you store inside SharePoint, but it does the same for all the documents stored on your network drive (as well as Exchange public folders, Lotus Notes, and relational databases). In a few seconds, you can locate a hard-to-find document and bring it back to life, saving yourself an enormous amount of time.
SharePoint 2010 has received a lot of recognition for improvements to the user interface and its more robust document management features, but search is a SharePoint feature that has also been greatly enhanced in 2010. SharePoint Search comes in a few flavors:
- SharePoint 2010 Foundation with Search Server Express (free)
- SharePoint 2010 Standard Edition
- SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition
- SharePoint 2010 with FAST Search
There are enhancements and additional features built into the Standard, Enterprise and FAST premium editions, but for the purpose of this blog, I will just focus on what you get with the free version of search. Here is a short list of the most time-saving enhancements to the 2010 version of the search engine:
- Cast a wider net through the use of built-in wildcard search functionality (wildcard searches were not possible previously)
- Narrow down the list of search results a lot faster with the metadata-driven refinement panel (based on managed properties, like author, file type, create data, and update date)
- Add your own metadata property mappings and make them part of search result refinement options
- Enjoy an easier to use and more powerful query syntax - use AND, NOT and OR in your search queries
- Scale your search and index up to 10 million items with sub-second response times (3 million was the limit previously)
- Receive helpful "Did you mean?" suggestions for misspelled queries
If SharePoint Search saves you 30 minutes per week, think how much time and money it will save your entire organization...
30 minutes x 52 weeks x 50 employees = 78,000 minutes or 1,300 hours. At [$25] an hour, that saves your business [$32,500] every year!
Impressive results for a business software license that's free.