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Azure Search REVIEW

Site Search Solutions

No user reviews
USER SATISFACTION 99%
OUR SCORE 9.9

What is Azure Search?

Azure Search is an AI-powered search-as-a-service cloud solution developed by the tech giant Microsoft Corporation to help businesses and app developers build a search solution that optimizes the search performance of their web, mobile, and enterprise applications. Azure Search uses artificial intelligence capabilities to extract data from unstructured or non-searchable content, structure and enrich the data, and organize them into documents before being indexed.

With Azure Search, users will be able to quickly create a search index, upload data into it, and set up search queries through the aid of common API calls and using the Microsoft .NET SDK. Once the search index is up and running, the solution ensures that it can instantly return search results even if there is a high volume of traffic coming in or there is a large amount of data that needs to be transmitted.

The search-as-a-service cloud solution allows users to enable search capabilities on their applications so they can improve how users search and access content. These capabilities include search suggestions, faceted navigation, filters, hit highlighting, sorting, and paging. It also allows users to take advantage of its natural language processing techniques, modern query syntaxes, and sophisticated search features. Last but not least, Azure Search offers monitoring and reporting features. Users can gain insights into what people are searching for and entering into the search box as well as access reports that show metrics related to queries, latency,  and more.

Overview of Azure Search Benefits

Incorporate Artificial Intelligence Through Cognitive Search Feature

One of the unique and powerful capabilities offered by Azure Search is that incorporates artificial intelligence into the indexing process. This can be observed in its feature called Cognitive Search. This feature enables users to automatically extract data from source documents or contents and convert them into structured and searchable data which will be a part of the search index later on. How the data is transformed depends on the set of steps and resources that users set up which are known as cognitive skills. These skills use AI algorithms and they are very useful for structuring and enriching data.

Source Data And Document Cracking

The Cognitive Search feature operates through a pipeline which is divided into different phases which include source data and document cracking, cognitive skills and enrichment, and search index and query-based access phase. The first phase of the pipeline involves the process of extracting text or image-based content from source documents. Through document cracking, users will be able to extract or generate text-based content from image files or non-text sources. In this phase, the content is not yet structured and searchable.

Convert Unstructured Content To Searchable Content

The second phase of the pipeline is very critical, as this is the phase where the cognitive skills play a major role, helping users gain insights into the extracted or generated content, make inferences on it, and convert it to a structured and searchable content. Azure Search is comprised of two general types of cognitive skills: Predefined cognitive skills and custom cognitive skills. A set of cognitive skills is called skillset. One of the predefined skills that users can apply is the Named Entity Recognition cognitive skill. With this skill, named entities or data are instantly extracted from the content such as names of persons, locations, or organizations. Another predefined skill is the Key Phrase Extraction cognitive skill. This skill permits users to generate a list of phrases from an unstructured content.

Custom Cognitive Skills And Enriched Documents

When it comes to custom cognitive skills, these are skills that can be set up by users to perform special data evaluation processes and indexing operations. For instance, they can extract data based on a specific area of specialization. After the contents are processed, they are then organized into a collection of enriched documents. Whatever data or content found in those documents can be mapped to the index fields that comprised the search index. However, users have the option to decide which data or content they want to include in the search index. Once the content is mapped to the index field in the search index, it will now become one of those contents that the search solution will return as it generates search results for queries.

Apply Full-Text Search And Text Analysis To Heterogeneous Contents

Azure Search like other search solutions and services is using a very common technique called full-text search and text analysis. In this technique, a search engine or solution checks all the words contained within a stored document or a full-text database and returns search results based on the query made. However, although others are applying such technique, it sometimes only work on contents that are managed by the same database management system. On the contrary, Azure Search’s full-text search capability can be implemented even for contents that belong to different database management systems, allowing users to store and search contents from heterogeneous sources.

Leverage The Lucene Query Syntax

In performing full-text search and text analysis, Azure Search supports the implementation of the industry-leading search query syntax called Lucene query syntax. This is a query language developed by Apache and users can apply and enable such syntax as they build search queries for their search solution. The Lucene query syntax is recommended for various types of query operations such as what is popularly known as fuzzy search. A fuzzy search is used for searching for words or terms that are different in spelling but may share one or more similar letters (e.g. blue, blues, and glue).

Another type of query operation where the syntax can be applied is when performing a proximity search. Here, words that are close to each other are the ones being searched. A tilde “~” symbol is added at the end of the two words and followed by a number. This number is the proximity boundary and it defines the distance which is the maximum number of intermediary words. For example, when the expression “hotel airport”~5 is entered, “hotel” and “airport” will be searched within 5 words of each other in the document.

Tailor Your Search Results To Your Business Using Rank Scoring

Azure Search is also equipped with a relevance modeling capability. With this capability, users can customize how they score the ranking of contents or items appearing in their search results. Basically, a content that has a high score also has a high relevance, placing it at the top of the search results. By creating their own scoring profiles, users will be able to define the relevance and ranking of contents in the search results. In other words, they can configure how contents are showing in the search results, tailoring them to their business requirements and goals. For example, if they are promoting new products, they can set up scoring profiles for these products so that they will rank higher in the search results.

Overview of Azure Search Features

  • Build a Great Enterprise Search Solution
  • Incorporate AI to the Indexing Process
  • Cognitive Skills
  • Extract Unstructured Content From Source Documents
  • Convert Unstructured Content to Searchable Content
  • Generate Enriched Documents
  • Fully-Managed Search Service
  • Quickly Provision Search
  • Set Up and Manage Search Index through API Calls and Microsoft .NET SDK
  • Full-Text Search
  • Simple Query Syntax
  • Lucene Query Syntax
  • Data Integration
  • Linguistic Analysis
  • Geo-Search
  • User Experience Features
  • Relevance
  • Monitoring and Reporting
  • Tools for Prototyping and Inspection

Azure Search Position In Our Categories

Position of Azure Search in our main categories:

3

Azure Search is one of the top 3 Site Search Solutionsproducts

3

Azure Search is one of the 3
Site Search Solutions products


If you are interested in Azure Search it might also be sensible to examine other subcategories of Best Site Search Solutions collected in our base of SaaS software reviews.

Each company has its own characteristics, and might require a specific Site Search Solutions solution that will be designed for their business size, type of clients and employees and even particular industry they deal with. It's not wise to count on finding a perfect software that will work for every company no matter what their background is. It may be a good idea to read a few Azure Search reviews first and even then you should keep in mind what the service is intended to do for your company and your staff. Do you need a simple and straightforward solution with only basic features? Will you actually use the complex tools required by pros and large enterprises? Are there any specific tools that are especially practical for the industry you work in? If you ask yourself these questions it will be much easier to get a reliable solution that will fit your budget.

How Much Does Azure Search Cost?

Azure Search Pricing Plans:
Free trial
Free
Free
Basic
$73.73/mo.
Standard S1
$245.28/mo.
Standard S2
$981.12/mo.
Standard S3
$1,962.24/mo.

Alongside its free plan, Azure Search offers several SMB and enterprise pricing for all users to choose from. The plans are using pricing method wherein you only need to pay for the number of search units you used or provisioned for a given hour. Search units are the Azure Search resources used for your service. In addition, the pricing of the plans varies depending on the number of replicas and partitions you can use for scaling, the storage capacity you need for the partitions, the number of indices you can set up per service, and the region you belong.

The search units which you can use can also be combined to process more search queries per second, increase the number documents you can upload and manage, speed up data ingestion, and improve search performance. Moreover, you will be charged with a corresponding bandwidth cost when you transmit data in and out of Azure data centers. Please visit the official website of Microsoft Azure to check the rates for data transfer and bandwidth usage. Meanwhile, here are the details on Azure Search’s pricing plans:

Free

  • Free
  • Storage – 50 MB
  • Max indexes per service – 3
  • Documents Hosted – 10,000 documents
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

Basic

  • Price Per Search Unit -$73.73/mo. or $0.101/hr.
    • East US, East US 2, North Central US, South Central US, West Central US, West US, West US 2, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Price Per Search Unit – $97.09/month or $0.133/hour
    • Japan West, Brazil South
  • Storage – 2 GB per service
  • Max indexes per service – 5
  • Documents Hosted – 1 million
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Scale out limits – Up to 3 units per service
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

Standard S1

  • Price Per Search Unit – $245.28/mo. or $0.336/hr.
    • East US, East US 2, North Central US, South Central US, West Central US, West US, West US 2, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Price Per Search Unit – $$324.12/mo. or $0.444/hr.
    • Japan West, Brazil South
  • Storage – 25 GB/partition (max 300 GB documents per service)
  • Max indexes per service – 50
  • Documents Hosted – 15 million/partition (up to 180 million documents per service)
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Scale out limits – Up to 36 units per service (max 12 partitions; max 12 replicas)
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

Standard S2

  • Price Per Search Unit – $981.12/mo. or $1.344/hr.
    • East US, East US 2, North Central US, South Central US, West Central US, West US, West US 2, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Price Per Search Unit – $1,295.02/mo. or $1.774/hr.
    • Japan West, Brazil South
  • Storage – 100 GB/partition (max 1.2 TB documents per service)
  • Max indexes per service – 200
  • Documents Hosted – 60 million/partition (up to 720 million documents per service)
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Scale out limits – Up to 36 units per service (max 12 partitions; max 12 replicas)
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

Standard S3

  • Price Per Search Unit – $1,962.24/mo. or  $2.688/hr.
    • East US, East US 2, North Central US, South Central US, West Central US, West US, West US 2, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Price Per Search Unit – $2,592.96/mo. or  $3.552/hr.
    • Japan West, Brazil South
  • Storage – 200 GB/partition (max 2.4 TB documents per service)
  • Max indexes per service – 200 or 1000/partition in high density mode*
  • Documents Hosted – 120 million/partition (up to 1.4 billion documents per service) or 1m/index in high density mode*
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Scale out limits – Up to 36 units per service (max 12 partitions; max 12 replicas) up to 12 replicas in high density mode*
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

*High density (HD) mode is an option available within the standard S3 service that allows a larger number of indexes to be created in a single service. Using HD mode, a service can create up to 1,000 indexes/partition, where an index may be no more than 1 million documents (or 2 GB storage), and the total number of documents and storage across all indexes may not exceed 120 million documents/partition or 200 GB/partition.

User Satisfaction

We realize that when you make a decision to buy Site Search Solutions it’s important not only to see how experts evaluate it in their reviews, but also to find out if the real people and companies that buy it are actually satisfied with the product. That’s why we’ve created our behavior-based Customer Satisfaction Algorithm™ that gathers customer reviews, comments and Azure Search reviews across a wide range of social media sites. The data is then presented in an easy to digest form showing how many people had positive and negative experience with Azure Search. With that information at hand you should be equipped to make an informed buying decision that you won’t regret.

POSITIVE SOCIAL MENTIONS

203

NEGATIVE SOCIAL MENTIONS

1

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Technical details

Devices Supported
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Web-based
Language Support
  • English
  • Chinese
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Russian
  • Italian
  • Dutch
  • Portugese
  • Polish
  • Turkish
  • Swedish
Pricing Model
  • Free
  • Monthly payment
Customer Types
  • Small Business
  • Large Enterprises
  • Medium Business
Deployment
  • Cloud Hosted
  • Open API

What Support Does This Vendor Offer?

  • EMAIL
  • PHONE
  • LIVE SUPPORT
  • TRAINING
  • TICKETS

What are Azure Search pricing details?

Azure Search Pricing Plans:
Free trial
Free
Free
Basic
$73.73/mo.
Standard S1
$245.28/mo.
Standard S2
$981.12/mo.
Standard S3
$1,962.24/mo.

Alongside its free plan, Azure Search offers several SMB and enterprise pricing for all users to choose from. The plans are using pricing method wherein you only need to pay for the number of search units you used or provisioned for a given hour. Search units are the Azure Search resources used for your service. In addition, the pricing of the plans varies depending on the number of replicas and partitions you can use for scaling, the storage capacity you need for the partitions, the number of indices you can set up per service, and the region you belong.

The search units which you can use can also be combined to process more search queries per second, increase the number documents you can upload and manage, speed up data ingestion, and improve search performance. Moreover, you will be charged with a corresponding bandwidth cost when you transmit data in and out of Azure data centers. Please visit the official website of Microsoft Azure to check the rates for data transfer and bandwidth usage. Meanwhile, here are the details on Azure Search’s pricing plans:

Free

  • Free
  • Storage – 50 MB
  • Max indexes per service – 3
  • Documents Hosted – 10,000 documents
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

Basic

  • Price Per Search Unit -$73.73/mo. or $0.101/hr.
    • East US, East US 2, North Central US, South Central US, West Central US, West US, West US 2, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Price Per Search Unit – $97.09/month or $0.133/hour
    • Japan West, Brazil South
  • Storage – 2 GB per service
  • Max indexes per service – 5
  • Documents Hosted – 1 million
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Scale out limits – Up to 3 units per service
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

Standard S1

  • Price Per Search Unit – $245.28/mo. or $0.336/hr.
    • East US, East US 2, North Central US, South Central US, West Central US, West US, West US 2, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Price Per Search Unit – $$324.12/mo. or $0.444/hr.
    • Japan West, Brazil South
  • Storage – 25 GB/partition (max 300 GB documents per service)
  • Max indexes per service – 50
  • Documents Hosted – 15 million/partition (up to 180 million documents per service)
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Scale out limits – Up to 36 units per service (max 12 partitions; max 12 replicas)
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

Standard S2

  • Price Per Search Unit – $981.12/mo. or $1.344/hr.
    • East US, East US 2, North Central US, South Central US, West Central US, West US, West US 2, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Price Per Search Unit – $1,295.02/mo. or $1.774/hr.
    • Japan West, Brazil South
  • Storage – 100 GB/partition (max 1.2 TB documents per service)
  • Max indexes per service – 200
  • Documents Hosted – 60 million/partition (up to 720 million documents per service)
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Scale out limits – Up to 36 units per service (max 12 partitions; max 12 replicas)
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

Standard S3

  • Price Per Search Unit – $1,962.24/mo. or  $2.688/hr.
    • East US, East US 2, North Central US, South Central US, West Central US, West US, West US 2, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Price Per Search Unit – $2,592.96/mo. or  $3.552/hr.
    • Japan West, Brazil South
  • Storage – 200 GB/partition (max 2.4 TB documents per service)
  • Max indexes per service – 200 or 1000/partition in high density mode*
  • Documents Hosted – 120 million/partition (up to 1.4 billion documents per service) or 1m/index in high density mode*
    • West Central US, East Asia, Japan West
  • Scale out limits – Up to 36 units per service (max 12 partitions; max 12 replicas) up to 12 replicas in high density mode*
  • Data Transfer – Standard rates apply

*High density (HD) mode is an option available within the standard S3 service that allows a larger number of indexes to be created in a single service. Using HD mode, a service can create up to 1,000 indexes/partition, where an index may be no more than 1 million documents (or 2 GB storage), and the total number of documents and storage across all indexes may not exceed 120 million documents/partition or 200 GB/partition.

What integrations are available for Azure Search?

Azure Search integrates with the following data sources from Microsoft Azure:

  • Azure SQL Database
  • Azure Cosmos DB
  • Azure Blob Storage

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