VS2008, SharePoint Search Server 2008 Express Announced

I'm not at [SharePoint|Dev|Win|Exchange]Connections 2007 or TechEd EMEA 2007 Barcelona this week, but always interested in what's announced at the keynotes.

This year in Barcelona Soma announced that Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 will RTW before the end of November. And Popfly Explorer will be integrated with VS, allowing anyone to build and share pages on the supercool Popfly site. Soma also recently announced the inclusion of F# in VS2008, and the ability to publish from SQL Express out to a hosted database. [Soma's TechEd EMEA announcements]

Also today, Microsoft Search Server 2008 and the free Microsoft Search Server Express were announced both by Thom Rizzo in Vegas and at the Enterprise Search Summit in San Jose. The announcement was cross-posted to the SP&T Team Blog and the MSFT Enterprise Search Blog. Bill English was quick to follow with a detailed post on MSSX's installation and configuration, and then Daniel Webster with a nice summary of the pros and cons. Basically, now you can search across site collections with WSS rather than just sub-trees, though you're limited to just one search/index server per farm. Another benefit is compliance with the OpenSearch standard which provides a pipe from MSS into existing search engines both online, and in document and content repositories. The pipes are called federated Search Connectors and they're already available or announced for Live.com, Google, Yahoo, OpenText, Documentum, SAS and Cognos.

Another big recent release is the SharePointPedia. The vision here is a central source for all things SharePoint and the format is a blog hybrid featuring brief abstracts linking off to on-line articles rather than a wiki as you might expect. Comments and user-tagging allow for feedback, users are rated by contributions.  It's simple and I like it.

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