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Azure Cognitive Services – Search APIs

Throughout this week’s Azure Every Day blog posts, I’ll focus on different APIs available with Azure Cognitive Services. With Azure Cognitive Services you can infuse your apps, websites and bots with intelligent algorithms to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret your user needs through natural methods of communication. You can easily add the power of machine learning and bring advanced intelligence into your product.

This first post will focus on Search APIs that are available with Microsoft Azure. By leveraging these, you can add Bing Search APIs to your apps and can comb billions of webpages, images, videos, and news with a single API call. Here are some core APIs that are easily available:

1. Bing Web Search API – This straightforward tool allows you to add web search capability into your applications and get enhanced search details from billions of web documents.

2. Bing Image API and Bing Video API – These search APIs let you specifically search for images and get comprehensive results.

3. Bing News Search API – With this you can search for news and get comprehensive results. This search API can be integrated into your app and limit a search for news articles that are relevant to a particular subject you want news about.

4. Bing Auto Suggest API – You can add the capabilities of high speed search results to your application, giving your app intelligent autosuggest options for searches.

5. Bing Entity Search API – This uses context provided by you in your application to enrich your experiences by identifying and augmenting entity information from the web. With this you can take advantage of your geographic location to enhance searches, such as ‘find coffee shops near me’.

6. Bing Custom Search API – Here you can define what you want to do in search and embed it in your apps. It’s an easy-to-use, ad-free, commercial-grade search tool that allows for a more custom search experience within your application.

These are the search API tools available to you within Azure Cognitive Services.


Steve Hughes is a Principal Consultant at Magenic. His area of expertise is in data and business intelligence architecture on the Microsoft SQL Server platform. He was also the data architect for a SaaS company which delivered a transportation management solution for fleets across the United States. Steve has co-authored two books and delivered more than 30 presentations on SQL Server and data architecture over the past six years. He also provides insights from the field on his blog at http://dataonwheels.wordpress.com.


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