Search in SharePoint 2013 and O365 SharePoint Online Architecture and understanding

Introduction

Search in SharePoint 2013 and O365 enables users to find relevant information more quickly and easily than ever before and makes it easy for Search administrators to customize the search experience. It also provides several API sets for more advanced customizations and solutions.

Search Architecture

The search architecture contains search components and databases. How you structure the search architecture depends on where you intend to use search, i.e. for the enterprise or for Internet sites. When building the search architecture, you should take into account considerations such as high availability and fault tolerance, the volume of your content and the estimated amount of page views and queries per second.

Search Components

1

1.Crawl Component2

This component takes care of crawling the content sources such as (SharePoint sites, websites & file shares etc…) and extracts the crawled properties and metadata and sends that to the content processing component.

2. Content processing component3

This component receives the information from the crawl component and then processes and sends it to the indexing component. It also interacts with the analytics processing component and is responsible for mapping crawled properties to the managed properties.

3. Analytics Processing Component4

This component takes care of analyzing what users are querying on and how they interact with the results. This information is used to determine relevance, generate recommendations and also used for generating search reports.

4. Indexing Component

This component takes care of receiving the information from the content processing component and writes it to the search index. It also takes care of handling the queries and sends back the results to the Query processing component.

5. Query Processing Component

This component handles incoming query requests and sends them to the indexing component for results. It also takes care of query optimization.

6. Search admin Component

This component manages administrative processes as well as changes to the search topology, such as adding or removing search components and servers.
Please note that these 6 search components can be distributed across multiple servers to provide high availability as well as improve performance as shown in the image below.

5

Search databases7

1. Crawl database

Stores tracking information and historical information about crawled items such as documents and URLs. It also stores information such as the last crawl time, the last crawl ID and the type of update (add, update, delete) during the last crawl. It also provides the crawl queue for items currently being crawled.

2. Link database

Stores unprocessed information that is extracted by the content processing component and information about search clicks. The analytics processing component analyzes this information.

3. Analytics reporting database

Stores the results of usage analysis. It extracts information from the Link database when needed.

4. Search administration database

Stores search configuration data. This also hosts the Search service application configuration and handles crawl state orchestration, including the content source crawl history.

SharePoint Admin Center Settings

6

SharePoint on-premises and Online Differences

Both SharePoint on-premises and Online have search capabilities. The big difference is what their search indexes can include. Typically, when the phrase enterprise search is used, it means that the search engine in question can index multiple, disparate content sources.

In the case of SharePoint on-premises, this is true. SharePoint has long been capable of indexing SharePoint content, as well as content stored on file shares, Exchange, websites and Lotus Notes databases, among various content sources. Starting in 2007, Microsoft added the capability of indexing structured data from databases and other applications through the then-called Business Data Catalog. That feature has since matured and is now called Business Connectivity Services (BCS), and it allows virtually the same capabilities.

The same is not true of SharePoint Online. The search engine can index all content stored in SharePoint and sources connected through BCS, but not index file shares, other websites or Lotus Notes databases. While the capability is largely constrained based on where SharePoint Online is hosted, the more fundamental difference is the controls available to administrators, the ability to define other content sources, like on-premises implementations, simply does not exist.

Search Features – O365 Comparison plans

Search features

Office 365 Enterprise E1

Office 365 Government E1

Office 365 Enterprise E3

Office 365 Government E3

Office 365 Enterprise E4

Office 365 Government E4

Office 365 Enterprise E5

Advanced Content Processing

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Continuous crawls

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Custom entity extraction

No

No

No

No

Deep links

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Event-based relevancy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Expertise Search

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Extensible content processing

No

No

No

No

Graphical refiners

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hybrid search

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Manage search schema

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

On-premises search index

No

No

No

No

Phonetic name matching

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Query rules—Add promoted results

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Query rules—advanced actions

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Query spelling correction

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Query suggestions

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Query throttling

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Quick preview

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ranking models

Yes5

Yes5

Yes5

Yes5

Refiners

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

RESTful Query API/Query OM

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Result sources

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Search connector framework

No

No

No

No

Search results sorting

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Search vertical: “Conversations”

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Search vertical: “People”

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Search vertical: “Video”

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

“This List” searches

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hope this article helps. Please comment and rate the same.

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