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Keyword Syntax Additions in SP2010 Enterprise Search (Yes, even Wildcards!)

I attended numerous Search sessions at SPC09 and one thing that I was excited to see is there have been a few improvements in the keyword syntax that will pretty much eliminate the need to use Full Text SQL queries any longer.  In fact, the impression I got from my last search session is that Full Text SQL queries are pretty much considered dead and they should not be used (but they will still work). 

The first thing you should know is that you can query SharePoint Search or FAST Search with the keyword query syntax.  There is no need to learn a different syntax to do basic queries with FAST.  FAST does have its own query language called FQL, but we’ll talk about that some time in the future.  Now for the exciting stuff.

Keyword queries now support prefix matching.  This is huge.  If you are reading this I am guessing you have a customer that has asked for wildcard searching.  This is going to eliminate a lot of your headaches.  You can query on a single term or on a managed property.  Here are some examples.

  • Red* – would return results for red, Redmond, Redding, redistribute, etc.
  • ProductName:Comp – would return items with a manager property of computer, computation, complete, etc.

I am very excited that I will be able to retire the Wildcard Search Web Part.  It simply will not be needed any more and this keyword syntax will make it much easier to get better results off of wildcard queries.

Another cool feature is support for Boolean operators.  Before, the keyword query syntax really only effectively supported AND between terms.  You can now do either.  Here is an example.

Red” OR “Green”

You can also group things together using parenthesis and use the AND operator as well.  This gives you a lot more flexibility now and will make it so you rely less on Full Text SQL queries to do these kinds of searches.

The last thing that I will mention is that you can use operators now in keyword queries to search against non text fields.  For example, you could query using a managed property greater than a certain value.  I need to double check this syntax, but I am pretty sure it looks something like this.

RecordCount > 100

As you can imagine, these improvements largely eliminate the need for writing Full Text SQL queries and doing huge customizations to the search center.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is an independent consultant specializing in Cloud technologies such as Azure and Office 365. He also specializes in mobile development. Corey serves as the product manager for two cloud-first mobile app platforms: BrewZap and HappenZap.

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