Microsoft Corp. has unveiled Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express, a new addition to its enterprise search lineup, to be available as a free download.
The company says the sofyware combines simplicity of installation and ease of use with a powerful set of search features, including new security-enhanced capabilities that help businesses connect to a wide range of information.
A release candidate of Search Server 2008 Express is available today for download and evaluation.
"Information workers waste as much as 9.5 hours each week on searches that don't turn up the right information, which can add up to millions of dollars in lost productivity every year*," said Kirk Koenigsbauer, general manager of the SharePoint Business Group at Microsoft. "We believe there is a core set of enterprise search features that every business should have, and we're delivering them for free in Search Server 2008 Express."
In delivering Search Server Express, Microsoft has taken the enterprise class search capabilities of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and made them available as a stand-alone server for free. Search Server Express is designed to be easy to configure and administer, allowing IT professionals to go from download to search in as little as 30 minutes. In addition, Search Server Express has no preset document limits, so it will scale to meet a company's evolving needs. For users, Search Server Express provides advanced security and easy access to relevant, action-oriented results using a familiar Web search experience.
Microsoft also announced two search product portfolio enhancements that provide connectivity to a number of common customer information sources.
Free connectors that index content from EMC Corp.'s Documentum and IBM Corp.'s FileNet are scheduled to be available across the portfolio of Microsoft search products in early 2008.
New federated search capabilities based on the OpenSearch standard were also introduced. Many applications and services already support OpenSearch, and Microsoft is working with a number of partners, as well as with its own product groups, to create new connections based on the standard. Several companies -- including Open Text Corp., Business Objects SA, Cognos Inc. and EMC -- have already signed on to develop federated search connectors that will enable Microsoft's enterprise search customers to easily connect to their information systems.
The addition of Search Server 2008 Express allows IT departments to scale their search investment as organizational needs grow. Because products are based on the same core search technology, customers can have enterprise-class capabilities no matter which solution they choose. For example, the new connectors and federation model will work across Search Server 2008 Express and the broader Office SharePoint Server offerings. By using a common platform, Microsoft can offer a range of products that meet the needs of small, medium-sized and large businesses.