Microsoft Index Server indexes the contents and properties of documents on an Internet or intranet Web site served by Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS). You can set up Index Server so clients can use any browser to search a Web site by filling in the fields of a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) formatted query form. When a client executes a query, the Web server forwards the information typed into the query form to the query engine. The query engine finds the pertinent documents, formats the results as an HTML Web page, and then returns the results to the client.

Multiple Web Server Indexing

Index Server can be used to index multiple Web servers, including files on a Novell NetWare server or files on a file allocation table (FAT) partition. Multiple Web server support is achieved by sharing a folder on the remote computer and creating a virtual directory from the indexing server.

Multiple File Format Support

Index Server can also index the full-text contents and property values of formatted documents. It enables an organization to publish existing documents directly on an intranet without converting them to a different format, such as HTML.
By default, Index Server includes the ability to index several file formats including:

  • Text files (.txt)
  • HTML 3.0 or earlier files (.htm)
  • Microsoft Word 95 and Word 97 files (.doc)
  • Microsoft Excel 95 and Microsoft Excel 97 files (.xls)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint® 95 and PowerPoint 97 files (.ppt)
  • Binary files (properties only)

Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) links are also indexed. Other file formats can be installing additional content filters, available from independent software vendors. A content filter reads a proprietary document format and emits words in text format that are then indexed by Index Server.

When an embedded object encountered in a document, its type identified and the appropriate filter is activated. It means that Index Server indexes not only the text in a Word document but also any text in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet embedded in the Word document.

Because knowledge of the file format is contained entirely within the filter, new file formats can be indexed just by providing a filter for the format. Independent software vendors can provide content filters that understand their on-disk document formats and plug these filters into the Index Server system. In this manner, Index Server is extensible and can read new formats as filters become available.

Multiple Language Support

Multilingual indexing and querying features are standard in Index Server. Index Server currently supports the following languages:

  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • U.K. English
  • U.S. English
  • Traditional and Simplified Chinese

Index Server can index multilingual documents and switch between languages as required. For example, Index Server can index an English paragraph, index a French paragraph, and then switch back to English. All index information stored as Unicode characters and all queries converted to Unicode before processing.

NNTP Indexing

Index Server can index Network News Transfer. Protocol (NNTP) messages stored on a news server.

Zero Maintenance Design

Once Index Server is installed and started, it will automatically index all files associated with an IIS Web site. When changes made to the files on a Web site, Index Server will automatically refresh the searchable index. Index Server also includes an automatic error detection and recovery system to handle standard errors.