Hello everyone, you will find our beginner’s guide on Azure Cognitive Search. We will explore what it is, what it’s benefits are and how it can help you or your businesses thrive in this new modern era of Ai that we now living in.
As some of you know, I am a big fan of Azure and I have been for many years, I first wrote about Azure way back in 2015, when I was exploring different cloud platforms and their services. Since then, Azure has grown a lot and has introduced many new features. One of these is Azure Cognitive Search, which is a powerful tool for searching and organizing your data, it can be used for both personal and business/company projects, let’s say you want to make an Anime, Movie, TV database of all the movies you have in your hard drives(I hope you are using SSD now), it can help you organize that, and on that note, let me make a prediction, I think we will hear Netflix will make a deal with Microsoft sooner or later to use this cognitive search feature on their website and app so people can search certain movies and tv shows with precision, trust me, if it hasn’t happened already, it will soon.
In simple terms, Azure Cognitive Search is a service that helps you find the information you need quickly and easily using Microsoft’s AI cloud storage. It can be used by businesses to search through large amounts of data, like customer records or product catalogs. By using this service, you can save time and make your work more efficient. In the next part of this guide, we will dive deeper into how Azure Cognitive Search works and how to get started with it.
Table of Contents
What is Azure Cognitive Search?
Azure Cognitive Search is a cloud search service that gives developers infrastructure, APIs, and tools for building a rich search experience over private, heterogeneous content in web, mobile, and enterprise applications. It is an Azure resource used for adding a full text search experience to custom apps. It is available in combinable search units that include reliable storage and throughput to set up and scale a cloud search experience quickly and cost-effectively.
Why use Azure Cognitive Search?
Azure Cognitive Search is well-suited for the following application scenarios:
- Consolidating heterogeneous content into a private, user-defined search index.
- Offloading indexing and query workloads onto a dedicated search service.
- Implementing search-related features such as relevance tuning, faceted navigation, filters (including geo-spatial search), synonym mapping, and autocomplete.
It can also help you transform large undifferentiated text or image files, or application files stored in Azure Blob Storage or Azure Cosmos DB, into searchable chunks. This is achieved during indexing through cognitive skills that add external processing.
You can add linguistic or custom text analysis. If you have non-English content, Azure Cognitive Search supports both Lucene analyzers and Microsoft’s natural language processors. You can also configure analyzers to achieve specialized processing of raw content, such as filtering out diacritics or recognizing and preserving patterns in strings.
You can get more information from Microsoft’s official document on cognitive search.
Azure Cognitive Search Features
- Cloud search service with built-in AI capabilities that enrich all types of information to help you identify and explore relevant content at scale.
- Use cognitive skills for vision, language, and speech, or use custom machine learning models to uncover insights from all types of content.
- Consolidate heterogeneous content into a private, user-defined search index.
- Offload indexing and query workloads onto a dedicated search service.
- Easily implement search-related features: relevance tuning, faceted navigation, filters (including geo-spatial search), synonym mapping, and autocomplete.
- Available in combinable search units that include reliable storage and throughput to set up and scale a cloud search experience quickly and cost-effectively.
- Powers knowledge mining solutions to easily identify and explore relevant content at scale.
Azure Cognitive Search Screenshots
Azure Cognitive Search Video
Example of Azure Cognitive Search for Custom Applications & CMS
Azure Cognitive Search Requirements
- Azure subscription: To access and use Azure Cognitive Search, you need an active Azure subscription.
- A Search service: A cloud search service that gives developers infrastructure, APIs, and tools for building a rich search experience over private, heterogeneous content in web, mobile, and enterprise applications.
- Data source: Have a supported data source (such as Azure Blob Storage, Azure Cosmos DB, or Azure SQL Database) with the content you want to make searchable.
- Indexing: Define an index schema that describes the structure of searchable data, including fields and their attributes.
- API key: Obtain an API key to authenticate requests to the search service.
- Integration: Familiarity with REST APIs, SDKs, or other tools for integrating Cognitive Search into your application.
- Basic understanding: Familiarity with search concepts (e.g., indexing, query expressions, filters, facets) to optimize and customize the search experience.
You might also want to check our guide on how to use Azure Tools to migrate to the cloud.