Exciting times for FAST Search, report from SPC 2011

Now that this year’s SharePoint conference has come to an end, and although we’ve still haven’t left sunny California just yet, we’d like to take the opportunity to share our view of the last very exciting few days.

The Microsoft SharePoint Conference is consistently the number one event on SharePoint. This time, even though it wasn’t even a release year, more than 7000 participants attended the conference, beating both the Microsoft Partner and the Build conference.

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011 venue center

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011 venue center

We’re sincerely impressed by the professionalism and the amount of planning that must have gone into this event. Microsoft really did an amazing job; all the way from when the first invitations were sent off to when the last booth had been disassembled. As presenters on the conference, we also had the pleasure of working with Microsoft behind the scenes, and we can assure you that the success of SPC 2011 was in no way a coincidence.

Early Monday morning, Jared Spataro, Jeff Teper and Kurt DelBene kick-started the conference with an inspiring keynotes session. Besides giving the many thousands in the crowd an outline of the week, they also shared a glimpse of their opinions and the outlook of SharePoint technology going forward. If you didn’t get a chance of attending the conference, make sure to watch the keynote online.

As a company specializing in Enterprise Search and FAST Search for SharePoint, we’re of course extra thrilled that Microsoft – in the actual keynote -  gave us a live demonstration of a SharePoint and FAST Search installation containing more than 100 million documents. Of course, they didn’t just show it to us; an assistant was brought onto the scene and pulled the power cord to the server rack, thus triggering a full farm failure. In just a few seconds, the solution had recovered and was back online, fully operational. The crowd was sheering!

As for the actual sessions, SPC 2011 really had something for everyone. The amount of sessions, hands-on labs and activities going on was simply staggering. The Enterprise Search area alone, whether having a business-oriented or technical focus, was covered by more than 30 sessions! Including our own day-long pre-conference training session Learning to develop a high-end search solution with FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 and our break-out session on User-Centric Design for Deploying FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.

Comperio hands-on lab on FAST Search for SharePoint at SPC 2011

Comperio hands-on lab on FAST Search for SharePoint at SPC 2011

But besides all interesting sessions, attending SPC 2011 was of course about more than just learning new material. We also had an absolute blast at Disneyland, rented just for this occasion, and at the many other venues set up specifically for us attending SPC 2011. Most of the time, the partying started right when we stepped out from the elevator, as the lobby in our hotel turned out to be one of the hot spots for grabbing a “SharePint” after the sessions.

We’ve met so many interesting and inspiring people from all over the world; whether that someone was a SharePoint developer from down-under in trouble with their FAST Search installation or people from Fortune 100 companies around the globe looking to finally to tackle their Knowledge Management challenges.

Everyone at the conference must have heard the key message from Microsoft as loud and clear as us at Comperio: Enterprise Search is the solution to a wide range of problems in your organization, and FAST Search technology will help you working towards solving those problems.

This is an exciting time to be in the search business!

2 response to: «Exciting times for FAST Search, report from SPC 2011»

  1. October 11, 2011 at 02:06 | Permalink

    Hello Marcus,
    Nice article. So that’s it, FAST is now integrated with Sharepoint. In the past two years we have seen many Sharepoint users and integrators approach us about integrating our own search engine (MatchMaker) with Sharepoint to replace the poor search facility it was originally outfitted with and which I tested myself.
    We have always felt this was outside our current business focus (ecommerce and enterprise search and data matching). This said, we have been integrated in previous versions of FAST and we know FAST had it’s own limitations.
    Can you point to a description of this new Sharepoint/FAST search engine?
    MD, Exorbyte Inc.

  2. October 12, 2011 at 06:46 | Permalink

    Hi Dan,

    The official entry-points about FAST Search for SharePoint (“FS4SP”) at Microsoft will take you a long way:




    Let me know if you have any questions!


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