Integrate Search Server 2010 Express with SharePoint Foundation 2010 – Get the Maximum out of Foundation Functionalities

Empowering your SharePoint Foundation farm through an readily available Add-on which will make more worth of continuing is the prime goal of writing this article.

Note : This Testing has been carried out in SharePoint Foundation 2010 with SP2 and Search Server Express 2010 Full version which was functioning as expected. 

Advanced Search was one of the most utilized feature in SharePoint 2010 for me in last few years in my SharePoint Experiences. 70 % of our projects I have used Search Solutions for my clients. however though we have enterprise clients across the world, there are lot of medium and small level clients as well so having SharePoint Enterprise or standard may block their interest of SharePoint in Financial Perspective so still there are considerable number of organizations across the globe which are using SharePoint Foundation/WSS 3.0.

thought of writing this after one of my testing carried out to discover the power of Search Server Express 2010 which can be integrated with SharePoint foundation 2010. the objective is to discover the capabilities of Search Server Express with SharePoint Foundation 2010 which would be helpful for the foundation crowd out there.

as you already know, Foundation edition of SharePoint does not capable of providing customizable searching or it’s interface since there is no Search Application as it is embedded with an windows service so the whole thing is automated (Schedules/Content Sources/File Types etc..). no wonder that this is Foundation but you can keep faith on yet an extremely good news which is Search Server Express 2010.

Search Server Express is an Separate Setup that you can Download here. This is the Full Version. this addition will install not only the Search Services but also Secure Store Service and Web Analytics Services which are really useful and makes SharePoint foundation More shined. many techies still worries about not having these core features in foundation and thinks that they have to pay for Search Server also but not really, Search Server Express totally free with few limitation but yet really useful and almost covered as same as enterprise.

right after this deployment, you will be able to experience below capabilities on your foundation setup.

1. Search Service Application (Create Search Service Application and customize as you want which is same as Enterprise). Manage Content Sources, Define File Types, Search Web Parts Such as Advanced Search Box.

2. Web Analytics Services

3. Secure Store Service

So lets start with the deployment. I have an SharePoint foundation farm back ending SQL Express 2008 R2 which is in a Single Server. this post I will start with the Search Server Deployment.

Normally these are the only service applications you have in SharePoint Foundation 2010. additionally BDC is there which you can create via New –> Service Application


Starting with setup by just click on Install Search Server Express is the first step once you done with the prerequisites. make sure you have the internet on server during the prerequisites installation.


Accept the License Agreement as usual to proceed.


Change the Program path if you need it to be installed in another location as the default goes to C: Drive and just hit Install to start.


Give it a moment. this wont take than 5 Minutes if you have proper resources on server.


Config Wizard will automatically pop-up right after the installation. leave the tick box selected to run the wizard (this will make your IIS reset for several time during the process)


Just Click Next


the summary will be here so again “Next” to go.


Leave it for few minutes. not more than 5-6 minutes again.


That’s all and we done the installation and Search Server Express is now integrated to your SharePoint farm.


Let’s check out whether we got it as expected. indeed, direct to Service Applications through Central Administration and you will realize that you have few more Service Applications available for creations. isn’t this the greatest news for foundation crowd ever heard of?


As next let’s go to ‘Services of Server’ through the CA and we are now about to start our New Services (SharePoint Server Search, Web Analytics Service etc.. which are newly embedded through Search Server Express deployment)


Let’s Start the Search Service as same as we do in SharePoint Enterprise. I’m filling Service Credentials, Names of DBs, Schedules of Crawling etc..


Now to Configure Search Service Application which is also identical as same as Enterprise. so far I’m so excited !!. hit OK to create the Search Service Application.


Give it a moment. indeed again this depends on your server’s performance. coming in to mind that you are on an enterprise environment, yes I am.


Alright we done with it as this resulting “Succeeded”


Get in to Service applications and you will see our newly created Search Application is started there.


click on it and get in to the configuration panel. you will see all the capabilities such as File Types, Content Sources, Crawl Log etc.. which are about to shine your Foundation Farm here after.




let me now check the Service Connection mapping of my web application though CA –> Service Connections for Web Application in order to try with searching.


Starting a Crawl for my default content source to check out on searching.


meanwhile I would Enable Site Collection Level Search Features. I’m activating Search Server Web Parts here. this is totally same. more Excited !


And Search Settings from CA –> Site Collection Administration


You would see the familiar Search Settings Page as same as enterprise.


alright, Now the interesting part where we are going to add an Search Web Part to a page. by just editing a newly created web part page –-> Insert –-> Web Part –-> Search Web Parts -–> Advanced Search Box. there will be lot more web parts which are were limited only up on SharePoint Standard such as Advanced Search Box, Refinement Panel, Search Box, Search Statistics, Search Core results, Federated Results etc..


done with adding Advanced Search Box to my web part page as you see below so what are we waiting for ? let me search something as I guess it has completed crawling which I already started in an earlier step.


it is it is … !!! we are now having Advanced search functionality in our Foundation setup.


hope this was a great news and tip for SharePointers out there and will come up with next post soon ..