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Differences between Basic Search Center, Enterprise Search Center and Fast Search

Some useful information I found in the Web which helps in deciding between SharePoint Search Centers.

The main differences between Basic Search Center and Enterprise Search Center are the abilities to customize.

Basic Search Center (contextual scope) only allows to search within lists or within sites.  Search results are displayed on a system page where we cannot customize easily. We can only edit the existing search page and search result page and we cannot add more pages of our own to it.

Enterprise Search Center allows for much more flexibility. We can search across site collections and even web applications (assuming they share the same index). Much more flexibility to customize the search experience, better scalability, we can author our own pages, and overall much better control over searching in general. Enterprise Search Center only available in SharePoint server (Standard or Enterprise), also we need to enable the following site level features for it:

1.    “SharePoint Server Standard Site Collection features” feature
2.    “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” feature

FAST Search for SharePoint does everything that SharePoint Search does, plus a few more things like document previews, deep refiners, user context, and visual best bets.  It is extremely scalable and a great choice for organizations that have high volumes of content to be searched.


A comparison between search server products from Microsoft site is as below. More information on which Search Server product is right for you is here.

Product Features
Search Server 2008 Express
Search Server 2010 Express
SharePoint Server 2010
Performance with sub-second response time
3 million items1
10 million items1
100 million items
Search analytics reporting
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User interface–based (UI-based) administration
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*
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Relevancy tuning by document or site promotions
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*
*
Common connector framework for indexing and federation
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*
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Search from Windows 7 and Windows Mobile

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*
Metadata-based refinement panel

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*
Metadata extraction on managed properties

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*
Scriptable deployment and management using Windows PowerShell

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*
Relevance improves with social behavior

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*
Query suggestions, related searches, and improved “Did you mean?”

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*
People and expertise search


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Taxonomy and term store integration


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Phonetic and nickname search


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Integration with My Site


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1 Assumes use of Microsoft SQL Server.

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