Enterprise Search Features of SharePoint

SharePoint's enterprise search features are powerful both in their capability to include virtually limitless content and resources, both inside and outside your organization. By contrast it has the ability to restrict the same, from broad permission levels that ease administration down to a single document or user. SharePoint 2010 search comes in two flavors, a standard search engine equivalent to what you might find in Windows Explorer and FAST Search Server for SharePoint 2010 which earns its name both through advanced search algorithms and by residing on its own server, thus maximizing the speed at which results are returned.

You may find it interesting to peruse some of Microsoft's case studies for FAST search including Infosys, The International Monetary Fund, General Mills, and Samsung.

The ability to add resources and refinements to Enterprise Search in SharePoint is nearly limitless. People search can add a dimension to flat organizational directories, taxonomy and folksonomy can give a customized search context and search can return only a pertinent set of documents via a custom refinement property that can be easily accessed in a dropdown selector. Further FAST search (which will be native to SharePoint in the 2013 version) can adjust results according to where the query originates. The word 'tuned' would be different things to a mechanic than a musician and the FAST engine can be tuned in the IT sense to account for that!

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