Azure SQL Now Supports Full Text Search

Azure SQL now supports Full Text Search as part of the V12 platform.

Full-Text Search is now generally available in Azure SQL Database V12. For applications that manage and store character-based data in Azure SQL Database, Full-Text Search provides fast, rich search functionality integrated into the database platform. Full-Text Search is available in all service tiers in Azure SQL Database V12 through familiar TSQL syntax and Microsoft SQL Server tools. In addition to preview capabilities, the feature supports .xml doc types and self-service diagnostic experiences through XEvents. Users can easily troubleshoot and have visibility into issues such as indexing errors or unsupported doc types. This optimizes the search experience and brings it closer to the on-premises capabilities of SQL Server.

Full text search allows for indexing of text content with a SQL database, stored in traditional database records.  Columns such as char, varchar, nchar, nvarchar, text, ntext, image, xml, or varbinary(max) are supported for full text searching.  Once the text is indexing, searches can be performed using TSQL commands.

There are some limitations compared to the full SQL 2014 version:

  • No support for installation or use of third party filters, including Office and .pdf.
  • Customers cannot manage service settings for fdhost, all configurations are being managed by the service.
  • Semantic search, thesaurus and search property lists syntax is not yet enabled.