Just a few days ago the team in Redmond has announced the general availability for Azure Search and other new announcements along with it.

For the past few months I had the opportunity to talk, blog and answer questions about Azure Search while it was still under public preview. Today however, the service is no longer in preview and this means that the search-as-a-service solution managed by Microsoft is now fully baked with SLA, stable and less-changing REST API schema and models which can be concluded as: full-text search in a box.

The purpose of Azure Search is to help software developers implement a search system within their applications (whether web, mobile or desktop) without the friction and complexity of writing SQL, JavaScript (or anything else) queries and with all the benefits of an administration-less system.

Not only did the team make the service generally available, but they also added some more flavor to this release since it comes out with great new features such as an indexer mechanism which allows Azure Search to literally crawl for data in any modern data repository such as Azure DocumentDB, Azure SQL Database or SQL Server running on Azure VMs and also the concept of suggesters (previously under preview in the 2014-10-20-Preview API version – I wrote about suggesters in the Azure Search Client Library update announcement here) which allows users to specify a suggest algorithm upon running the suggest operation available in Azure Search.

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Looking over the English dictionary for the word ‘facet’, I came to realize that facet means way more things that I originally knew: (according to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/facet)

  1. one of the small, polished plane surfaces of a cut gem
  2. a similar surface cut on a fragment of rock by the action of water, windblown sand etc.
  3. aspect, phase, as in: ‘They carefully examined every facet of the argument’
  4. in Architecture, any of the faces of a column cut in a polygonal form
  5. in Zoology, one of the corneal lenses of a compound arthropod eye
  6. in Dentistry, a small highly burnished area, usually on the enamel surface of a tooth, produced by abrasion between opposing teeth in chewing

However, during this post I’m not going to discuss the origin of the word, but rather what a ‘facet’ means in terms of Azure Search.

Have you ever wondered how popular on-line shopping stored are able to create those complex filtering scenarios, different for every category of products and different in functionality as well? More specifically, how come high-end products show pricing categories based on a quite a few high price ranges while the accessories category comes with less, lower price ranges? Here’s an example on Amazon.co.uk:

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By the time of this writing, Azure Search Client Library, available on Nuget here, has officially been downloaded for 201 times. In order to properly celebrate this, I’m going to have the next release of the library published asap. Lots of new capabilities are on their way, so stay tuned!

One more thing: should there be a specific feature you feel is missing, do drop me a comment, message, e-mail, tweet etc. and I’m personally make sure that your requirement will go straight staring up in the product backlog.

Alex

Today I’m happy to announce the update of Azure Search Client Library. The new version adds tons of performance improvements, feature additions and bug fixes, among which the full support for scoring profiles and the ability to easier create/update/delete documents are just a few.

Moreover, because for some reason I missed doing it previously, I’ve finally added full IntelliSense support for all classes within the library. The full list of changes is available here and the NuGet package is available here or via the NuGet Package Manager.

Happy searching!

I’m super excited to announce the public availability of Azure Search Client Library, a client library which works as a wrapper around the REST API available for the Azure Search Service.

This library intends to make you development tasks easier when it comes do doing any management or querying related tasks on your Azure Search indexes. The client library is available on NuGet (https://www.nuget.org/packages/AzureSearchClient) and the current version is 0.5.5355.2536. I’ve also written a short Getting Started-like documentation which is available at

Among others, this NuGet package is also my first and foremost ever NuGet package publicly made available on NuGet.org so I’d appreciate it even more if you’d leave comments on whatever you’d like to see next in the package.

Alex