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How crawl works in SharePoint || How indexing work || Basic Concept

Hey Friends,

Today I am here with some concept task . How a search work in SharePoint, but for a search to work SharePoint would first index the content sources.

So, How a crawl work to index the content from MOSS?

Main thing is that it can index, it can crawl anything stored in a server, in any format PDF, Zip, word, excel , txt, HTML, RTF, MS-Office etc. But to index the content other than office or Microsoft the index process is little more complicated but interesting. But the initial or the process is same for all. So let’s have a look on it.

1) When the scheduler for the crawl or index run, it will search for every place you have defined or what you called it a content source.

2) When it find a file in that, it will look on it extension. It will check in SharePoint SSP whether the type is defined to be indexed or not.

3) Now when the SharePoint confirms of file type it will look for a software/Ifilter to read this file. Ifilter is a software which will read a file. Every file need its own ifilter.

4) If SharePoint finds a ifilter for it. It will start opening this file and start scanning the file. It will remove certain words that are not required in search or not need to be indexed ex: 1 ,2 numerals etc.

5) After scanning the whole file it will index the content in index file with the pointer of name and location of the file.

6) Once a file is completed with full process. It will start for next file and with the same process as above.

Now to search or index any file of our use like PDF etc. we need to install the ifilter of every such types, which do not come by default. We can also put the images of such file type in SharePoint images file(12 hive) so that in search document come with their images. :-)

Hope I was able to describe the content based on my knowledge and learning.

Feel free to Rate and provide feedback if you find post useful

Hope this help

Filed under: MOSS 2007, SharePoint2010, SQLServerPedia


I am Ashish Banga, and I work as a Senior Software Engineer at an IT Company. I have around 4 years of experience in Microsoft Technology, focusing on SharePoint and also on Windows Server. I work as a SharePoint Administrator. I am a B.Tech Graduate and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist in SharePoint and also ITIL V3 Foundation Certified. I blog about what I face and what I learn, trying to share with all.


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