Can old FAST ESP connectors be used together with FS4SP? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I'm wondering if the Content Distributor is still accessible for external connectors in FS4SP or not?

    If it is possible for "old" ESP connectors to push documents to FS4SP via the CD, are there any reasons why this is a bad choice? (e.g, loss of functionality, CD possibly unavailable in the future releases, etc?)

    Will it be possible for such connectors to push "docacl" as before? The connector which we are today using with ESP is pushing ACLs to ESP in clear-text and we have a stage in the pipeline which encodes this on the FAST+SAM/AD way (base32 encoded SID from AD), so it matches the ACL filters generated by SAM+AD. Is it possible to put such stages into the pipeline, or does FS4SP deal with external connectors+document security in another way?

    Many thanks,


    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:43 AM

All replies

  • Hi Geir,

    The Content Distributor is available and the JDBC crawler and Enterprise crawler uses it (as well as docpush). But I advice strongly against thinking in ESP ways, as BCS is the crawler interface of choice for SharePoint. To be certain you are compatible with future incarnations of search in SharePoint I would go the BCS route no question.

    Also, modification of the pipeline is unsupported with FS4SP, but I'm sure you can get it to work with your ESP skills :)

    So, yes, you could most likely get your old stuff working, the question is maintainability and future-proofing. What are you and your customer comfortable working with, and in what perspective are you seeing your solution?

    The best way to think about FS4SP is as a black box you know nothing about, this will lead you into the light and ways of SharePoint ;)

    Mikael Svenson

    Search Enthusiast - SharePoint MVP/WCF4/ASP.Net4

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:51 AM
  • Hi Mikael,

    I was suspecting that using old ESP connectors, if supported at all, would not be the best way in FS4SP. Thanks for confirming that!


    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 11:05 AM
  • Hi Geir,

    Mikael is right, of course, with respect to use BCS for content integration.

    However, it eventually depends on your scenario and on the source system you are about to integrate. If you want to implement your own content source integration, BCS would definitely be the way to go. However, there are connectors to FS4SP out there that use the old ESP way and are still supported including an upgrade path to the next SP/FS4SP release. With upgrade path in this context I mean that the connector vendors will most likely offer also support for the upcoming FS4SP release which again most likely will then offer BCS access for feeding only. 
    FS4SP offers - though  deprecated - access to the Content API that was formerly the interface to outside content within FAST ESP. And - very important - a stable interface capable of dealing with enterprisescenarios and feeding million of documents that are not necessarily coming from SharePoint.

    First of all, it makes sense to distinguish between

    1) AD-secured or even public content source systems and

    2) content source systems secured by their own user management or anything that is not AD.

    Are you targetting 1) or 2)? For 1), security trimming works without configuration for available FS4SP connectors like the ones from Raytion out of the box. For 2), you need to be able to configure a user mapping between the AD-user and the other user management; besides it works out of the box with FS4SP. The user mapping for 2) needs to be done anyway, you cannot come around by relying on software magic ;-).

    Does this help?

    Kind regards
    Christian Vogt

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:26 PM
  • And even though the contentdistributor exists the underlying protocol layer is changed, so any old connector will not work at all, unless it's recompiled with the new (deprecated) content API (which is available only for .NET)
    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 11:34 AM