Azure Search vs Kentico Search

Chetan Sharma asked on June 21, 2016 13:33

Hi All,

What are the benefits of moving a website with a lot of content to Azure Search instead of using smart search available within kentico?

What possible improvements can I expect while moving to Azure Search? What are the pros and cons that I should consider while making this decision. I am also looking for ways to improve our search also

Our scenario:-

  1. A large content based website with 15-20K pages and active contributors generating a lot of data.
  2. I Wrote a custom refinement engine to provide relevance ranking to the documnents back in 2013.
  3. Website has enormous number of page types. This leads to adding every page type in C# code. Painful. Though, one of my team member have found a way to update it without touching the C# code.
  4. ANy ways to provide custom boost to specific page types? Right now I have handle this during query time, however I would love to handle this during indexing time.

Let me know if any more information is required to help understand this.

Cheers, Chetan

Recent Answers

Brenden Kehren answered on June 21, 2016 16:20

You might look at the Article Bryan Soltis posted and ask a question to him about it.

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Chetan Sharma answered on June 22, 2016 10:11

Thanks Brenden,

By any chance do you know his email id? I red this article before posting it here and unfortunately none of questions were addressed there.

Regards CHetan

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Bryan Soltis answered on June 22, 2016 14:19

Hi Chetan,

You can feel free to email me

For Azure Search, we have looked into it as a possible search solution and are still evaluating whether it makes sense to do so. My article does explain how to integrate it, however, it's not currently an officially supported scenario.

That being said, I think you could integrate it into your site and have a well-performing search. You just need to make sure you map your indexes properly and update them with a scheduled task on a regular basis. If your content is already in Azure (in Azure SQL or something), then you can create an indexer to update them automatically.

You may need to create some custom views to map the indexer to because you have combined multiple page types, etc.

If you have more questions, feel free to email and I'll help you where I can.

  • Bryan
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Chad Campbell answered on June 22, 2016 15:31


I'm not familiar with Kentico's search abilities. I am however very familiar with Azure Search. I think Azure Search provides several valuable features. In my opinion, I think the following are particularly valuable:

  1. Natural Language Processing. Azure Search has the ability to handle word variations and word breaking for at least 50 languages. In my Azure Search Training Course, I give the example of how in English, there is the term "go". With the natural language processing abilities, Azure Search understands to consider "went" as a variation of the term "go". Notice that "went" doesn't have the term "go" present in anyway.

  2. Scoring profiles. Azure Search lets you weight fields in your search index when results are scored. This empowers you to align business goals with search results.

  3. Faceted navigtion support, which is popular with a lot of product searching sites.

  4. Geospatial abilities, which help you search for results in two ways. Azure Search lets you search within a specific radius, or within a geofence.

Plus, its built on Azure, so the uptime is great. There are other features which are comparable to other search services. There is a free tier to Azure Search. For that reason, I believe its worth experimenting with to see if it meets your needs. If you want to learn about Azure Search, I have a training course for Azure Search.

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