Search Server Story

So I’ve been playing with the beta of SBS 7 specifically looking at SharePoint 2010 Foundation. At the moment I’m concentrating on search and I have an interesting story to tell you.


Out of the box SBS 7 (Beta) comes with SharePoint Foundation 2010. If you upload a document to a document library (in this case a Word document) and wait for it to be indexed you can search on information inside that document.




Ss you can from the above I’ve uploaded my Word document to SharePoint, if I now use the default SharePoint Foundation 2010 search (after waiting enough time for the document to be indexed) and search for something I know appears in the document like the word ‘understand’ say, this is what I expect to see.




Ok, all fine and dandy. As expected my document appears. Take special note of what the search results screen looks like because things are about to change.


One of the unsung products from Microsoft is Search Server Express 2010 which is a free download and allows you to index not only SharePoint but also Exchange Public Folders, network shares and other web sites. I honestly can’t understand why it hasn’t been already added to SBS but alas it hasn’t. However, if I do download and install it on my SBS 7 server, configure it appropriately and run exactly the same search I see:




Same result but differ display. This is the result of Search Server Express being installed. Now some people claim that to allow indexing of PDF you MUST install Search Server Express 2010. As I demonstrated in a previous post, with out further configuration this just isn’t true.


Let’s now say that you installed Search Server Express 2010 in this mistaken belief it will index PDFs. You find that it doesn’t so you decided to uninstall it. You go into Control Panel, Add/Remove programs, Search Server Express 2010, click, click, click… until it is all gone. You now try and view your companyweb site and you see:




Oh dear. Not good. Now no SharePoint! You however remember as you were madly clicking to uninstall Search Server Express 2010 that a message popped up saying that you might have to run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard after Search Server had been removed. You run the wizard and you reach a point where it asks you:




You know that your SharePoint data is already there (somewhere) so it is probably not a good idea to create a new server farm so you go with the first option to Connect to an existing server farm.


You now see:




You know that the SQL instance that runs SharePoint on SBS 7 is called server_name\sharepoint (well now you do!). You enter that in for your server and press the button to Retrieve Database Names and amazingly the SharePoint config database automatically appears. Feeling good you continue and are greeted with:




As the window says – ‘This passphrase is used to secure farm configuration data and REQUIRED for each server that joins the farm.’


So what’s the passphrase? You’d know that if YOU installed SharePoint wouldn’t you but you didn’t install it did you? It was already preinstalled on SBS 7. So who did that? Microsoft. So does Microsoft know the password? Good question. Is it documented somewhere? Even better question. Not that I can find.


Unfortunately, this story doesn’t seem to have a happy ending now does it?

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