What is the use of the search database and do we really need it?

  • What is the use of the search database and do we really need it? Karthikeyan

    The index will be kept on the Index Server, so why do we need a Search database and what is the point of it in SharePoint 2007? I would like to understand the basic concept of SharePoint Search.

    Below are a few questions:

    1. Why do we need a search DB?
    2. What is the use of it?
    3. Why it is consuming more DB space compared with other SharePoint DBs?
    4. When it will consume more CPU?
    5. What are all the important tables to know?
    6. Do we need to have an individual DB instance to keep it?

    Please help me with your thoughts.

  • The simple, one-word reason for all of the above is (I believe) scalability.

    If you have a SharePoint site with tens of thousands of users, all performing possibly dozens of searches per second, you can vastly improve search performance by farming off the Search Database to another server or place its tablespace onto another drive array.

    1. Yes we do need it. Search indexing is really made up of two items: the actual index file which contains keyword AND the search database that contains metadata. The two are combined when a search is initiated
    2. The search database contains settings related to search (content sources, confguration, all that good stuff). In addition it will also contain the list of url's that will be passed to the crawler when a content source is crawled. In addition it also contains all of the metadata that is crawled.
    3. It consumes most DB space because there are a hell of a lot of keywords along with a mapping to the various items and locations of the keywords within those items.
    4. Hmm I don't really understand that either, obviously though when a crawl is initiated it will be writing new metadata values and mappings to the search db, so there will probably be more cpu usage then
    5. Generally I don't even glance at the structure of any databases within SharePoint, there is a whole API to interface with
    6. Hmm again i might not be reading the question right but yep you need to have that database up otherwise you cant actually perform queries..

    Hopefully this helps and I haven't said anything incorrect..let me know if I have :)

2007 search crawling database
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