Installing Search Server 2008

Search Server 2008 is Microsoft’s latest search engine, with improved functionality over previous versions. In this section, you’ll learn how to install Search Server 2008.

Start the setup process by running setup.exe. The initial setup wizard splash screen will appear, as shown in Figure 14-1.

You’ll notice that there are three sections of the install wizard:

  • Prepare
  • Install
  • Other Information

Let’s discuss each section of the installation wizard and illustrate how those sections support a successful installation.


Figure 14-1 Initial screen in the Search Server 2008 setup wizard

Preparing for the Installation

Under the Prepare section of the Search Server 2008 installation wizard, there are two main sections:

  • Review Hardware And Software Requirements
  • Read The Installation Guide

If you click the Review Hardware And Software Requirements link under the Prepare section, you’re taken to the minimum information in the ReadMe file for installing both the Express and the Farm version on the server’s hard disk under the \program files\msecache \sserver121\folder. The hardware requirements are well in line with what most IT shops are installing today. Some of them are purposefully less powerful to support installations in parts of the world where updated hardware is more difficult to purchase. Some of the hardware requirements and recommendations are as follows:

  • Minimum 2.5-GHz processors with recommended dual processors running at 3 GHz or faster
  • 1 GB of RAM is required, although 4 GB of RAM for 32-bit operating systems is preferred
  • 56-KB network connection is the minimum with which Search Server 2008 will work, but we obviously recommend as much bandwidth as possible.

If you click the Read The Installation Guide link, you are taken to the “Install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express” online article.

Other Information

The Other Information section of the installation screen includes links to the Windows Update site where you can ensure that your server is fully updated before you install Search Server 2008. If you have already turned on Automatic Updates or are using a Software Update Server (SUS), then there is little need to use this link. However, for some people, this link will be a handy way to ensure that your server is updated. There is also a link to the Search Server 2008 Web site where you can learn more about this new product.

Conducting the Installation

Under the Install section, there are two links, both of which you’ll want to use. Run The Search Server Preparation Tool invokes another wizard that will ensure that your server is ready to install Search Server 2008. Specifically, this tool checks that the following elements are downloaded and installed on your server:

  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1
  • Windows Workflow Foundation Runtime Components and the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or the .NET Framework 3.0
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) ASP.NET Web Service extensions
  • Application Server role (IIS and ASP.NET)

If you click Next on the Welcome screen that appears, the tool runs and checks that these elements are installed properly on your server. Moreover, if you have never installed SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services, this tool will make the following changes to a default installation of the Application Server role:

  • MSSharePointAppPool secured by the LocalSystem account
  • Microsoft SharePoint administration Web site with a random port number and no host header
  • Installation and enabling of ASP.NET 2.0 (v50727) in IIS

Clicking the Install Search Server link in the second section of the Welcome page will launch the actual installation of the Search Server 2008 bits. The first screen that will appear is the product key code screen. Enter your key code, and then click Next to read through the licensing agreement. As usual, you won’t find anything in the licensing agreement that you don’t agree with because you need to install the software. After reading the licensing agreement, click Next to open the Choose The Installation You Want page (see Figure 14-2).


Figure 14-2 Choosing between Basic and Advanced installation in the Search Server 2008 Installation Wizard

On this page, you’ll select either the Basic or the Advanced installation. The Basic option will immediately start the installation of Search Server 2008 in a single-server environment and will install the Express version of Search Server 2008, which uses the desktop version of Microsoft SQL Server for its database and does not allow the farm to be scaled out beyond one server.

The Advanced installation option will use a remote SQL Server and will want to place its databases on that SQL Server. In addition, the Advanced option will allow you to scale out the Search Server 2008 farm with multiple Search Server 2008 servers and allow you to configure the following items (Figure 14-3):

  • The type of installation you want on the server, such as Complete, Web Front End, or Stand-Alone
  • The location where you want the binaries installed
  • If you want to participate in the customer improvement program by giving feedback to Microsoft about its products

When you click Install Now, the binaries will be installed. Similar to SharePoint Server 2007 installations, once the binaries have finished installing, you’ll have the option to start the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard. This wizard will allow you to create the Search Server 2008 farm in which the search engine will run.

It is important to note that you’re not just installing a product Search Server 2008. You’re installing an entirely new SharePoint farm that is focused on running Search Server 2008. You’ll get Central Administration, a Shared Services Provider, and the ability to build out an entire collaboration environment around a Search Server 2008 installation. You’ll be able to add Web front-end (WFE) servers to your farm as well as additional Query servers. At the time of this writing, Search Server 2008 does not install into a current SharePoint Server 2007 installation. It is our understanding that plans are underway to connect a Search Server 2008 installation with SharePoint Server 2007, which will extend the SharePoint Server 2007 implementation with Search Server 2008 features, such as Federated Querying.


Figure 14-3 Advanced installation configuration options in the Search Server 2008 Installation Wizard

Once you have selected the type of installation that you want, click Next to start the installation of the binaries. Once the binaries have been successfully installed, you’ll be given the opportunity to run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard. Run this wizard to build the new Search Server 2008 farm.

Note Running the configuration wizard for a Search Server 2008 farm implementation is identical to running the wizard for a SharePoint Server 2007 installation. Refer to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Administrator’s Companion and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, both published by Microsoft Press, for information on how to run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard.

After Search Server 2008 is installed, you’ll see that a Microsoft Search Server shortcut group has been created from the Start menu. It includes the SharePoint Products and Technologies and Central Administration sites for SharePoint, plus the Search Server 2008 Administration shortcut. The Search Server 2008 shortcut will not appear on the Administrative Tools shortcut menu, but the two other SharePoint shortcuts will appear there.

After the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard runs, the Search Server Configuration page appears, as shown in Figure 14-4.


Figure 14-4 The Search Server Configuration page

On this page, you’ll enter values for the following configurations:

  • Search Service Account
  • Search Center Account (application pool account for the Search Center site)
  • Search Contact E-Mail Account

At the bottom of the Search Server Configuration page (shown in Figure 14-5), you’ll be able to set configuration values for a number of different parameters, such as the Index File Location or the name of the search database.

If this effort to create a new SSP fails, you can create the SSP manually. Figure 14-6 shows the Search Server Configuration Completed With Errors page that appears if automatic configuration fails. Click the Configure Manually link and you’ll be taken to the managessp.aspx page, where you can click the New SSP link in the menu bar and create the new SSP from there.


Figure 14-5 Optional configuration settings


Figure 14-6 Search Server Configuration Completed With Errors page that appears if automatic configuration fails

Note The part of this chapter that focuses on installing Search Server 2008 was written against the public beta that was released by the product team in the spring of 2007. We don’t anticipate that the final version of the code will produce problems in creating a new SSP as part of the installation process.

Administrating Search Server 2008

In this section, we’ll discuss the basics on how to administrate Search Server 2008 so that you can begin using this emerging product. We’ll look at the Search Administration interface and explain basic Search Server 2008 administrator activities. We’ll also look at the Search Center, which is installed by default, using the host name of the server and port 80. (For example, if your server name is “Server1,” then the Search Center’s default URL would be https://server1.)

When you first open the administration Web site for Search Server 2008, you’ll find that the administration interface is a bit different than the search interface for SharePoint Server 2007 SSP. Frankly, it is an improved interface. It is organized into several sections, which are displayed in the left, central, and right panes as illustrated in Figure 14-7. The left pane includes the following set of nested links:

  • Administration
    • Search Administration
    • Central Administration
  • Crawling
    • Content Sources
    • Crawl Rules
    • Crawl Logs
    • Default Content Access Account
    • File Types
    • Reset All Crawled Content
    • Crawler Impact Rules
    • Proxy And Timeout
  • Queries And Results
    • Authoritative Pages
    • Federated Locations
    • Metadata Properties
    • Server Name Mappings
    • Search Result Removals
  • Usage Reports
    • Query Reports
    • Results Reports


Figure 14-7 Default Search Server 2008 administration interface

In the center pane, you’ll see three different Web parts, which essentially constitute a dashboard, that are not available in the SharePoint Server 2007 implementation of search:

  • System Status
  • Active Crawls
  • Recently Completed Crawls

The right pane includes prebuilt shortcuts for the Search Server 2008 site as well as online help links to content. If you enter Edit mode for this page, the center and right panes are really Web page zones, and the left navigation pane is a set of nested links, which is consistent and expected behavior for a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 team site page’s navigation scheme.

If you click Add Web Part in Edit mode, you expose a fourth Web part that is not available by default—the Subsystems Web part. We’ll look at the functions performed by this Web part later in this section.

The main administrative tasks that can be performed in Search Server 2008 include creating content sources and FLD files. There are also links in the Search Server 2008 administration interface that will help you navigate to other pages with administrative tasks. The administration links in the left pane are default links that will take you to either the home page for the Search Server 2008 administration site or the Search Server 2008 Central Administration home page for the farm. You can think of these links as two home page links—one to Search Administration and one to Central Administration.

Important In this section, we assume that you have knowledge and experience in administrating search technologies in SharePoint Server 2007. If you are unfamiliar with how to administrate search in SharePoint Server 2007, please consult Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Administrator’s Pocket Consultant and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Administrator’s Companion, both published by Microsoft Press.

The links under the crawling section of the Search Server 2008 administration site simply re-expose Search Administration in SharePoint Server 2007 with a few improvements.

First, the Manage Content Sources page (shown in Figure 14-8) has a different set of metadata that is exposed for each content source than what we would normally see in the SharePoint Server 2007 Search Administration pages. This page includes information such as the most recent crawl duration, when the most recent completed crawl was finished, and the schedules for the next full and incremental crawl.


Figure 14-8 Manage Content Sources page

One great Search Server 2008 feature not included in SharePoint Server 2007 search is the extra reporting about the content source within the content source itself. In Search Server 2008, the new Content Source Details feature (see Figure 14-9) provides a number of interesting, up-to-date details about the content source.


Figure 14-9 Content Source Details interface for the default content source in Search Server 2008

Second, when it comes to creating crawl rules, there are a few additions to the rules in Search Server 2008 that are not part of SharePoint Server 2007. As you can see from Figure 14-10, you can now enter forms-based and cookie-based credentials for the crawler to connect with when crawling content that is secured through either forms-based authentication or cookies.


Figure 14-10 Crawl rule improvements in Search Server 2008

Third, the Crawler Impact Rule link has been exposed in the Search Administration interface, so you are not forced to go to Central Administration to create Crawler Impact Rules. Interestingly, if you do go to Central Administration and click the Manage Search Service link on the Application Management tab, you’ll be presented with a login to the Search Administration Web site. If you hover over the link, it will show the default URL location of https://<CA_Site:port>/_admin /managesearchservice.aspx, but clicking the link will redirect you to the Search Administration site in the SSP.

Fourth, Search Server 2008 installs fewer crawled property categories than does SharePoint Server 2007. More specifically, SharePoint Server 2007 installs 149 SharePoint-crawled properties, whereas Search Server 2008 installs only 116. This is a micro-illustration of how Search Server 2008 installs only that portion of SharePoint Server 2007 that it needs to run effectively.

There are three Web parts that ship with Search Server 2008 that do not ship with the SharePoint Server 2007 version of search. The first of these Web parts is the System Status Web part. This Web part, illustrated in Figure 14-11, contains a wealth of real-time information, including scopes update status and schedule, search alerts status, number of items in the index, and current crawl status. This is a great Web part that will give you some of the instant information you need as an administrator when you first fire up the Search Administration Web site.


Figure 14-11 System Status Web part in the Search Server 2008 administration interface

The next Web part is the Active Crawls Web part, which will show the status, duration, and any successes or errors for the active crawl. The nice aspect of this Web part is that it gives you the ability to see the number of successes and errors while the crawl process continues. If there are a high number of errors, you can stop the crawl, use the crawl log to troubleshoot the errors, and then restart the crawl process to ensure that you index the content while minimizing errors.

The last Web part is a companion to the Active Crawls Web part. Whereas the Active Crawls Web part shows information about the current crawls, the Recently Completed Crawls Web part (shown in Figure 14-12) shows information about the crawls that have recently been completed, including the type of crawl that was completed, when it finished, its duration, and the successes and errors encountered.


Figure 14-12 Recently Completed Crawls and Active Crawls Web parts

The combination of these three Web parts gives you a full snapshot of your crawling efforts and environment as well as links to drill down into more administration activities if you need to troubleshoot or fine-tune your Search Server 2008 implementation.

< Back      Next >



© Microsoft. All Rights Reserved.