Introduction To Azure Search Service

What is Azure Search Service?

Azure search basically is an Azure Service or we can say it’s a Cloud search as a Service solution and provides you with a ready to use Service , which helps you to populate your data and then use it to add search into your mobile or Web based application.

It helps you to provide the search experience to your application, using simple Rest API or .NET SDK without being worried about the infrastructure.

Also, you can use JSON data search format. You can populate your data by using Azure search index. Here, an index plays an important role in Azure search Service. Various data sources supported by Azure search are indexes like Azure SQL Data Base, Azure Document DB etc.

Search experience with Azure search Service, as shown below.

  1. Search suggestion is your auto -completed search box, where you can search for something and it will give you a suggestion for the same.
  2. Faceted navigation means that it will give you the faceted navigation structure kind of search, which will help you to enable your search by some category or price range for an example.
  3. Filters basically are based on your user specific criteria.
  4. With the help of Hit Highlighting feature, you can choose which field you want to return as a highlighted snippet.
  5. Simple Scoring is like key feature of your Azure search. For example, sometimes you want discounted products or newer products , which you want to search in your search results, so for that you can build your own scoring profiles, using the specific tags, which you can store separately.
  6. Sorting is again a key feature of an Azure search, which is offered for the multiple fields via an index schema and then you can easily toggle when you run your query with a single search parameter.
  7. Paging makes your search result straight forward with good control over your search results.

Its advantages are given below.

  • High Availability
    It provides a reliable search Service to the user. It is scalable, so it provides great search experience. You can easily scale the search Service at any point of time.

  • Fully managed and Scalable
    As Azure search Service is fully managed end to end solution to the Service architecture and it doesn’t require any infrastructure management, your Service is scaling basically in two dimensions to handle more storage and heavy loads on to it.

Let’s see now how it works

First, create an Azure search Service in Azure portal.

  1. Sign in to your Azure portal.
  2. Click plus sign in the top left corner.
  3. Select Web + Mobile > Azure Search.

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  1. Now, type your Service name in the URL field.
  2. Select Subscription and resource group.
  3. Select Hosting location. Azure search can be hosted in any datacenters around the world.
  4. Select your pricing tier i.e. Free, Basic or Standard. Each tier has its own capacity and limits accordingly.
  5. Click Create.

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    • Next step is to add the index along with the data source into it.

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    • Give the name to your index in an Index name field, followed by clicking OK to create an index.

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    • Import your data by clicking Import data located at the top of the menu.

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    • Now, it will ask you for three things, which are Data source, Index and Indexer.
    • You can choose any data source like Azure SQL database, Document DB, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Table Storage etc.
    • I am choosing Azure SQL database and configuring it. Click OK.

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    • Now, customize target index. Give index name and customize fields accordingly.

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    • Create and index by giving the name.

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    • Now, your data source and indexer are ready.
    • Now, click Search Explorer and query the data, for example White.

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    • I queried the data by the color white in the query string and it returns all the records from the product table, which matches the color white in JSON format.

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