Substring Searches Fail in Outlook in Online Mode and Fail in OWA Search



Applies to Exchange 2010, Exchange 2007, Exchange 2003, and Exchange 2000


SYMPTOMS

1. You receive an email with the word ABCW65XYZ, in the body of the email.

2. If you search for the term ABCW65, in Outlook Online Mode or OWA, you find the email.

3. If you search for the term W65, you do not find the email.


CAUSE

1. By design in Exchange 2010, Exchange 2007, Exchange 2003, and Exchange 2000, content indexing does not support substring searching.

2. If content indexing is disabled, then Exchange Store search will find the substring in online mode.

3. In Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007, content indexing is enabled by default. Therefore, substring searching is not supported by default in Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007.

4. In Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000, content indexing is disabled by default. Therefore, when searching in online mode or OWA in Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000, you are using store search which supports substring searching. If you enable content indexing in Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000, you will be using content indexing, which does not support substring searching.


MORE INFORMATION

Summary:  By default in Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007, content indexing is enabled and substring searching is not supported and by default in Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000, content indexing is not enabled and Exchange store search is used instead and brute force substring searching is possible.

The reason that content indexing is enabled by default in Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007 is that it is vastly superior the content indexing in Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000. Also, searching of content indexes is much faster than Exchange store search in Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007.

Also, Exchange store search does not search attachments, but Exchange Search with content indexing does search attachments.

Further, Exchange Search supports searching embedded emails (emails within emails) whereas Store search does not support searching embedded emails.

Overall, there are many benefits in using Exchange search (with content indexing) instead of Exchange store search.

For further information on the differences between Exchange search and Exchange store search, see the following reference:

Understanding Exchange Search
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb232132(EXCHG.80).aspx

Bob Want, Senior Support Escalation Engineer, Enterprise Communications Services, Microsoft


Comments (1)

  1. Ricardo Hideyuki Toba says:

    How can I enable contact search for OWA users in case of only partial substring known?

    Tks in advance,

    Ricardo

    rihi@tjpr.jus.br

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