Eric Kraus


Azure Search

Azure Search is getting rolling and customers may have questions, or will have questions, about where it makes the most sense. First and foremost, doing Search is hard, and it can also be expensive. Azure Search is targeted at three core scenarios in this iteration:

Online retail/ecommerce

Most customers of ecommerce applications/sites will find products by using search first. Azure Search fits nicely into this space with its range of features including filtering, category counts (faceting), scoring, filters, sorting, paging and projection.

User generated/social content

There are many different flavors of user-generated content applications, but most share similar requirements when it comes to search. Examples of these kind of applications include recipe sites, photo sharing sites, user-contributed news sites and social network applications that have a Web and mobile presence. These applications deal with a large volume of documents, sometimes many millions, particularly when they allow users to comment and discuss on items. Geo-spatial data is often involved, related to location of people or things. Relevance tends to be driven by text statistics in addition to domain-specific aspects such as document freshness and author popularity.

Business applications

Users of line of business applications often navigate through their content using pre-defined menus and other structured access paths. However, when search is incorporated into these applications a lot of friction can be removed from general user interaction making it quicker and more efficient to retrieve this information.

Azure Search supports these scenarios from mobile devices to web sites and everything in between. A great introduction to using the cloud to provide app capabilities that used to be very hard in a quicker, easier fashion.


Check out the Azure Search blog post for more information/scenarios.

Yammer Search in IE

Here’s a quick little tip to add a search provider for Yammer in IE.  It makes searching for a thread in Yammer SUPER fast.

Browse to Yammer and do a Search

Just do a search for “TEST”.  You can optionally search in a group if you want.

Yammer Search TEST


Copy the URL

for example:<>/#/Threads/Search?type=following&utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_group_name=Inbox&search_group=&search_inbox=0&search_startdate=&search_enddate=&search=TEST


Browse to IEInternals Blog

Configure a custom search provider –

Yammer Search Configure


Make sure it says  &search=TEST  in the URL.  Give the search provider a name and click Install


Make a search

Just type a search term in the address bar, then click the Yammer icon Twice

Yammer Search

In my example, I configured it to search within a group

Yammer Search Result


Other Browsers

For example, ou can do this in Chrome as well.  Follow the steps above to get the Search URL.

In Chrome browser Settings… Under Search, click Manage Search Engines

Make sure to follow browser specific instructions.  e.g. for Chrome, replace TEST with %s

Yammer Search Chrome Config


Search in Chrome

Type “” to activate the search then type your search keyword.

Yammer Chrome Search






Bing Search API moves to Azure

As of today, the Bing Search API is now being offered on the Windows Azure Marketplace.

For up to 5,000 queries per day, developers can use the API for free to query Bing for web, image, news and video search results as well as related searches and spelling suggestions.  For queries over 5,000 developers can subscribe to various tiers of queries per month.  For instance, 10,000 queries is $20/mo and 20,000 queries is $40/mo (all the way up to 2.5 million queries per month).

The new Bing Search API supports both XML and JSON formats.

Bing Search API

It is also worth noting the features that are included in the Microsoft Translator API which is treated separately than Bing Search API.

Microsoft Translator allows for the automatic machine translation of text into specific languages via web service API.  For up to 2 million characters per month, developers can translate text for free.  Moving up to 4 million characters costs only $40/mo.

Microsoft Translator API


Transition your application to the Windows Azure Marketplace:

1. Sign up for the Marketplace.

2. Read the migration guide on transitioning your application. You can expect the transition to involve targeting a new API end point, moderate changes to the request and response schemas, and a new security requirement to authenticate your application key.

3. Subscribe to the Bing Search API and create an application key. You will not be charged for API usage until the trial period expires.

Important note…the Bing Search API 2.0 will be decommissioned on August 1, 2012 so existing developers are encourage to migrate their applications as soon as possible.