Microsoft Azure Search Learns More Languages

 
 
By Pedro Hernandez  |  Posted 2014-11-07 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Microsoft Azure Search

Available in more Azure regions than before, the company's cloud-based search service can now handle more languages.

Azure Search, Microsoft's cloud-based "search-as-a-service" offering, now understands more languages, the company announced.

Currently in preview, the service enables developers to quickly incorporate search into their applications. The free version of the service provides indexing support for up to 10,000 documents and three indexes, whereas the standard plan supports "tens of millions of documents, according to an Aug. 21 blog post written by Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise.

Now, the company is expanding on those capabilities with the release of a new prototype version of the Azure Search application programming interface (API).

"We have made available a new prototype api-version, 2014-10-20-Preview," Azure Search Senior Program Manager Liam Cavanagh announced in a statement. "The purpose of preview versions moving forward is to allow you to have early access to potential new features to test and provide feedback on."

Those features include support for 27 languages, setting the stage for applications with region-specific and localized search. "This allows Azure Search to support the unique characteristics of a given language enabling word-breaking, text normalization (standardizing text to allow for handling characters such as é or â) to work as expected for each supported language," stated Cavanagh.

Azure Search also gains support for stemming, or the act of reducing terms to their word stems, Cavanagh said. "For example, the words 'running' and 'runner' can be reduced to the root word 'run'."

Newly supported languages include Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Dutch, French, German, Russian and Spanish, among several others. Also new is the mergeOrUpload action, which "behaves like a merge if a document with the given key already exists in the index and a new Azure Search Management REST API," said Cavanagh.

The Azure Portal has been updated to provide a more user-friendly interface for managing indexes within the Azure Search service.

"We heard that you wanted to have greater administrative capabilities from within the Azure Portal instead of having to jump directly into coding," said Cavanagh. "As a result, we have made some enhancements to allow you to create and manage your search index all from within the Azure Search portal." Similar to other Azure dashboards, the search service's new management console allows users to drill down into search indexes and configure them with point-and-click ease.

Finally, Microsoft has turned on Azure Search in more of its cloud data centers.

"We have expanded our support of Azure Search from the existing four data centers (East US, West US, North Europe and SE Asia) to also include support for North Central US and South Central US," Cavanagh said. "We are continuing to make progress on expanding this even further with additional support in more data centers in the near future."

Microsoft's global cloud footprint encompasses a total of 19 Azure regions. "That's more than twice the number of regions that AWS [Amazon Web Services] offers today, and that's more than six times the number of regions than the Google cloud offers today," Guthrie said during a recent cloud-themed press event in San Francisco.

Microsoft Azure Search Learns More Languages

Available in more Azure regions than before, the company's cloud-based search service can now handle more languages.

Azure Search, Microsoft's cloud-based "search-as-a-service" offering, now understands more languages, the company announced.

Currently in preview, the service enables developers to quickly incorporate search into their applications. The free version of the service provides indexing support for up to 10,000 documents and three indexes, whereas the standard plan supports "tens of millions of documents, according to an Aug. 21 blog post written by Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise.

Now, the company is expanding on those capabilities with the release of a new prototype version of the Azure Search application programming interface (API).

"We have made available a new prototype api-version, 2014-10-20-Preview," Azure Search Senior Program Manager Liam Cavanagh announced in a statement. "The purpose of preview versions moving forward is to allow you to have early access to potential new features to test and provide feedback on."

Those features include support for 27 languages, setting the stage for applications with region-specific and localized search. "This allows Azure Search to support the unique characteristics of a given language enabling word-breaking, text normalization (standardizing text to allow for handling characters such as é or â) to work as expected for each supported language," stated Cavanagh.

Azure Search also gains support for stemming, or the act of reducing terms to their word stems, Cavanagh said. "For example, the words 'running' and 'runner' can be reduced to the root word 'run'."

Newly supported languages include Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Dutch, French, German, Russian and Spanish, among several others. Also new is the mergeOrUpload action, which "behaves like a merge if a document with the given key already exists in the index and a new Azure Search Management REST API," said Cavanagh.

The Azure Portal has been updated to provide a more user-friendly interface for managing indexes within the Azure Search service.

"We heard that you wanted to have greater administrative capabilities from within the Azure Portal instead of having to jump directly into coding," said Cavanagh. "As a result, we have made some enhancements to allow you to create and manage your search index all from within the Azure Search portal." Similar to other Azure dashboards, the search service's new management console allows users to drill down into search indexes and configure them with point-and-click ease.

Finally, Microsoft has turned on Azure Search in more of its cloud data centers.

"We have expanded our support of Azure Search from the existing four data centers (East US, West US, North Europe and SE Asia) to also include support for North Central US and South Central US," Cavanagh said. "We are continuing to make progress on expanding this even further with additional support in more data centers in the near future."

Microsoft's global cloud footprint encompasses a total of 19 Azure regions. "That's more than twice the number of regions that AWS [Amazon Web Services] offers today, and that's more than six times the number of regions than the Google cloud offers today," Guthrie said during a recent cloud-themed press event in San Francisco.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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