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SharePoint 2013 Search & Metadata

Metadata is the Foundation of Enterprise Search Excellence

Metadata is imperative to search. It supports search navigators, sorting results by property, and it is the basis of infographical search results display widgets.  And, most importantly, Metadata is highly influential over relevancy ranking. 

In our experience, having helped more than 400 customers to implement enterprise search, the organizations who provide their users with search excellence take metadata seriously.

So do we.

It is not just a technology issue. People and processes are equally important. Further complications lie in the diversity of content sources that will need to be made searchable through SharePoint. A single technical approach to auto-generating metadata, be that a categorization engine or a set of entity extraction rules, will not suit all data sources and all search use cases. Organizations who achieve enterprise search excellence know that you need more than one club in your bag when it comes to creating consistent, accurate and usable metadata.

Metadata is auto-created during the indexing process (this statement applies to all search engines, not just SharePoint) There is some good news and also some bad news in terms of SharePoint 2013's metadata creation capabilities.

  • Bad News: The standard indexing pipeline in SharePoint 2013 has some limited entity extraction capabilities, but it lacks any categorization functionality.
  • Good News: Microsoft have included an extensibility option within the indexing pipeline, which Microsoft describe as the content enrichment web service callout. This is the key to creating and maintaining metadata in support of search functionality

People, processes and technology provide the solution. Search Technologies can provide all three of these (or just one or two to compliment your in-house resources - that is up to you).

  • People: We provide expert architects, implementation engineers and project leaders, many with 10 or even 20 years experience with search engines
  • Processes: In any enterprise, the content landscape is constantly evolving, as are user needs and business objectives. We help our customers to adopt proven approaches and methodologies for maintaining metadata quality over the long-term
  • Technology: Through our Aspire Content Processing platform, which is fully compatible the SharePoint 2013 extensibility stage, we can provide a range of plug-in entity extraction and categorization technologies, which we will fully support under a service level agreement. NOTE: We'll always try to meet your needs with standard SharePoint functionality first. But there is plenty of talent on the bench, should it be needed

More than 150 SharePoint and FAST customers have benefited from our pragmatic, consultative approach to achieving enterprise search excellence.

Contact us for an informal discussion about how we can help you to create highly satisfied SharePoint search users by taking metadata seriously.