By default, in Sitefinity CMS search indexes are generated and stored locally using Lucene.net search service. If your project resides on a cloud storage, you can use alternative search index generation and storage on external services - in the cloud on Azure Search or an external Elasticsearch server.
Lucene.net search service is setup with Sitefinity CMS out-of-the-box. However, you have the option to choose whether content age is considered when calculating search score of pages, which affects how search results are ordered. Thus, with this option switched on, when visitors search for content or a page on the frontend, newer pages (or recently modified) are listed higher in the search results, similar to the way other search engines order results based on content age and relevancy.
For new projects, this setting is enabled by default and pages are listed with newer content higher in the list.
To switch on and off the content age option:
IMPORTANT: For new Sitefinity CMS 11.1 projects, the value is False by default. For projects upgraded to Sitefinity CMS version 11.1, the value is True.
To communicate with Azure Search, Sitefinity uses Microsoft.Azure.Search 5.0.0.
To use Azure Search for Sitefinity's search indexes, perform the following:
NOTE: Keep in mind that you need to enter only the name of the search service and not the whole URL. For example, if the URL is https://test.search.windows.net, you need to enter just test as search service name.
NOTE: Search results are ordered based on @score parameter. This method returns relevance of the result for each search term. By using @score parameter, the most relevant results come first.
For more information, see Azure Search libraries for .NET.
PREREQUISITES: You must use Elasticsearch server version 5.5.0.
To use an Elasticsearch server for Sitefinity's search indexes:
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