Search across Team Project Collections with Search Server Express 2010

July 24th, 2010

If you’re using TFS 2010, you’ll be familiar with the idea of Team Project Collections. The Team Project Collections are completely independent from one another, and so you’ll need to decide how many Team Projects will live together in each TPC. To determine your approach to this, you’ll need to consider the following;

Each TPC is a distinct database in your Date Tier, and therefore, a TPC is now your lowest unit of restore. Whilst this gives some much needed restore granularity (which TFS 2005/2008 did not have) it also means that each Team Project Collection will be mapped to a SharePoint Site Collection. If you’re using WSS3.0 this means that you will not be able to search content across these Site Collections. The end result is that your developers may not be able to search each others documents/work items etc.

To demonstrate the problem…

TPC to SC

To solve this problem, you can use MS Search Server Express 2010. I’d heartily recommend using a standard SQL Server 2008 instance for the databases, as the alternative is to use the Microsoft Internal database which SharePoint can install automatically (which is very unpleasant to have to manage)

Once you’d installed the pre-requisites, (which come with the download) and you’ve installed SSE, chose the ‘Farm’ option (not standalone) – this will allow you to specify a SQL instance. Then, in the Search Application, you can simply create a new content source, and point the indexer to your SharePoint root Site Collection address. The indexer will then crawl all your Site Collections and your users can then search across all the TFS Project Portals.


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