Azure Search Enterprise Search Software Comparison

Comparing Azure Search and SharePoint Online Search

Power Cognitive Search Applications and Intelligent Intranets

If you are evaluating and comparing enterprise search software, you should consider Azure. Microsoft describes it as a facility for developers to build embedded web and mobile search applications, but in reality, the facilities in Azure Search make it a great core enterprise search platform. Here is a comparison with SharePoint:

Azure Search SharePoint Online Search

Advanced Matching Power

Result Counts Exact Approximate
Geosearch Y N
Regular Expression Matching Y N
Complex Data Types Y N
Fuzzy Search Y N
Microsoft Graph Signals N Y

Scale and Performance

Amount of External Content Up to 1.4 billion items 1-20 million items
(depending on licensing)
Maximum Document Size /
Characters Indexed
256 MB /
4 million characters
64 MB /
2 million characters
Query Latency 100-400 ms 300-1200 ms
Indexing Latency Minutes Hours


Synonyms Y N
Query Enhancement Open Sealed
Content Enrichment Open Sealed

Azure Search can be a great platform for enterprise search when coupled with BA Insight’s products:

  • 1

    SmartHub – provides a modern, responsive search UI, personalization, and cognitive search capabilities.

  • 2

    Indexing Connectors – Our secure connectors bring content from over 70 enterprise systems into the Azure Search index, providing unified views of all knowledge assets.

  • 3

    AutoClassifier – Auto-tagging, metadata generation, and text analytics feed Azure Search’s schema, filtering, and faceted navigation, increasing findability.

BA Insight’s products also combine with Azure Search to create best-of-breed cognitive search

Benefits of Azure Search

  • Sophisticated search capabilities: including real-time indexing, geosearch, pattern search, and search on machine data.
  • Managed Service: results in lower cost and less work by eliminating the need to deal with servers, software updates, backups, etc.  If you are already using Azure, then you can quickly provision new indexes in your existing subscription and connect to your enterprise systems using Indexing Connectors over your current networking.
  • High Degree of Control: including direct control of relevance ranking, query processing, and indexing.
  • Scale-up: Azure search provides extreme scale and a pay-as-you-grow model. If you are hitting the limits of SharePoint Online search (such as files over 64MB or large amounts of data outside of Office 365), then you can use Azure search to supplement your existing search and present users with a single unified result set through SmartHub.

Contact us today to learn more.