Tuesday, August 26, 2014

1st lessons learned from applying Content Enrichment web service callout

In my previous post I reported how I successfully applied the new capability within SharePoint 2013 Enterprise Search to enrich the crawled content. That is immediately my first lesson: SharePoint 2013 Content Enrichment web service callout is far more easy to utilize compared to the Item Processing capability of FAST Search Server for SharePoint 2010. You can setup a working scenario in matter of hours, while FAST Item Processing typically costs you days. Moreover as it is badly documented.
However, I also do have some lessons learned to keep in mind when utilizing Content Enrichment Service callout:
  • Be aware that if you leave out a trigger in the ContentEnrichmentConfiguration object, the callout will occur for each crawled data element. In a production scenario this can seriously increase the total crawling time.
  • Be aware that the Content Processing pipeline invokes the Content Enrichment web service via anonymous service calls. This means it is not viable to deploy as web service in a SharePoint webapplication, as this typically is an authenticated web resource. Best is to deploy the Content Enrichment web service in an own anonymous IIS website.
  • You can only configure one single ContentEnrichmentConfiguration object per SharePoint Search Application (SSA). The consequence is also that you can only use one single Content Enrichment web service to enrich the crawled content in this SSA. This is a serious limitation!! I found a post with a creative solution to workaround the single endpoint limitation: Using Multiple Endpoints as a Content Enrichment Web Service in SharePoint 2013 Search. But a real solid approach has to come from Microsoft itself, by removing the limitation of only 1 ContentEnrichmentConfiguration per SSA.

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