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August 21, 2014 · Azure Search Full-Text Search Management Portal RedDog

Managing Microsoft Azure Search with the RedDog Search Portal

Related Post: Introducing Microsoft Azure Search and the RedDog.Search Client SDK
Related Post on Just Azure: Getting Started With Microsoft Azure Search

In my previous post I explained the basic concepts of Azure Search and the RedDog.Search client. Doing everything in code is one option, but in this article we'll explore a different option. The new Azure Portal allows you to create services and scale the partitions and replicas, but everything else like index creation and search is only possible through the REST API.

Over the past few weeks I worked on a sample portal built with AngularJS that allows you to manage your search service. Let's take a look.

Getting the portal

The complete source is available on GitHub. Go ahead and fork it, download the code and run it locally or deploy it to a Windows Azure Web Site. To get started you only need to setup a few things: the CSV delimiter (for when you want to import data), the service name and the API key.

<appSettings>  
   <add key="CsvDelimiter" value=";" />
   <add key="Azure.Search.ServiceName" value="service" />
   <add key="Azure.Search.ApiKey" value="key" />
</appSettings>  

Creating a new index

The first thing you'll do with the portal is create new indexes. As you can see in the following screenshot you can set the name of the index, configure the CORS options, define fields with their values and create scoring profiles.

The index management screen also supports Scoring Profiles. If you create a new Scoring Profile you're able to setup weights for the different fields and the advanced functions like magnitude, freshness and distance are also supported.

After creating an index you'll see the overview with your indexes, the number of documents, the size and the available actions on your index:

Importing data

To help you get started quickly with Azure Search the portal also supports the import of CSV files. The rules are simple:

Now simply go to the index overview and click the Import button on the index where you want to import the CSV file.

Searching

And then maybe the most useful feature of the portal, executing searches. You can use this to test your filter syntax, your scoring profiles, … Very useful when you're trying out different scoring profiles and you want to tune your search results.

Summary

Until the Azure Portal provides native support to manage your Search Service, the RedDog Search Portal is your best bet to manage Azure Search. If you encounter any bugs, require additional features or want to contribute go ahead and contact us on GitHub: https://github.com/reddog-io/RedDog.Search.Portal/

Enjoy!

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