Creating Full Text Index in SQL Server
In this article we will see how to create a full text search index for a SQL Server database for effective searching.
In this article we will see how to create a full text search index for SQL Server
database for effective search. In so many cases we need to provide the search
facility in our application. To provide searching facility within our local
database we can use the greater feature provided by Microsoft SQL Server i.e. full text
When we want to use the full text index service we need to start the service
first else it will raise the errors. So let's start with how to start the service and
use the Full text index step by step.
Open SQL Server and create a new database with the following table for eg.
Tbl_Search but keep in mind that the full text index only works on primary key or unique
key containing tables.
Create Table Tbl_Search
Int Primary Key Identity(1,1),
Insert some rows in the created table.
Now we will create full text index on our database and table for providing
search in table. So create the Full Text Catalog on our database by using
CREATE FULLTEXT CATALOG
In the query above we have created FullText Catalog with the name FTSearch.
Now we will create full text index on our table Tbl_Search but for that we
require the unique key id or primary key id so find the id of unique or primary
key by using following command.
SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLE_CONSTRAINTS
This command will display the all constraint names on tables present in our
database from the output. Copy the Tbl_Search constraint name for creating a full
text index on TblSearch.
CREATE FULLTEXT INDEX ON Tbl_Search
[Desc] LANGUAGE 1033)
KEY INDEX PK__Tbl_Sear__3214EC0700551192
In the above statement you can see we are creating a FullText Index on table name with a parameter; this parameter is nothing but the column name of the
table on which we want to create the full text index and language 1033 denotes the
Now it's time to search the records in a specified indexed table. For that we can
write the queries like below.
Select * from
Select * from
In the preceding queries you can see we have given a where clause with column name
which is the column we want to search and what we want to search. The preceding queries retrive
the rows of a table which contain ASP.Net in title column and the second query will
retrieve the rows of ASP.Net in the desc column.
In some cases your queries gives an error like fdhost cannot be started. That means your FullTextIndex Service is not started; for that you have to first
start the Demon Launcher for FullTextIndex service.
For starting FullTextIndex service go to SQL Server Tool->SQL Server
Configuration Manage->Service->FullTextSearch Demon Launcher if it is stopped
then start this service for performing search operation with a contains and
FreeText clause and restart the SQL Server instance.
In this way we can use the FullTextIndex on our database.
This article has a nice explanation on how to use SQL server feature for searching. However, I feel that this article is not covered one thing : what if the Full Text Search feature is not installed in the SQL server?
I want to say what to do in this case so that it helps someone who may encounter this problem. Here are two ways of testing whether this feature installed or not. This feature is available for all editions of SQL Server 2005 and 2008 (including SQL Express)
1. Check the services applet (run -> type 'services.msc') for this entry :
SQL Server FullText Search Or SQL Server FullText Search (SQLEXPRESS) (in case of SQL Express). Start this service of not running
2. Run the query "select fulltextserviceproperty('isfulltextinstalled')" in the Query analyzer. if the result is '1' then it is installed else not.
In the case of unavailability of this feature, you need to install by downloading the "SQLEXPR_ADV.EXE" from http://www.microsoft.com/express/sql/download/default.aspx
But the problem here is that this "exe" file cannot be run directly,Instead, you have to use Programs and Features (in Windows Vista) or Add/Remove Programs (in Windows XP), find the Microsoft SQL Server entry, and select Change. Then opt to update the database engine (not the workstation components), and select the Full-Text Search feature from the Database Services node.
The installer doesn’t have access to the necessary setup files, so it will eventually ask for them. You get these files by unzipping (not executing) sqlexpr_adv.exe using a program such as WinZip or WinRAR, and extracting its contents to a folder on your disk. This folder contains a setup folder that you can then supply to the SQL Server setup program.
After the setup finishes, restart the SQL Server service and execute the query shown earlier to make sure you have correctly installed the Full-Text Search feature.
CREATE FULLTEXT CATALOG FTSearch
Executing this command in SqlServer Express gives the error:
Cannot use full-text search in user instance.
I suspect this is because Express does not support Full Text indexing.
If it does, then what is the remedy?