Imagine there is an external system that contains data that should be indexed by MOSS 2007 and incorporated into the search. That system exposes the data via Web Services.

It's possible to crawl that data using the BDC, but what if you want to index the content of a word document that is stored:

  • as a binary in that external system and potentially exposed as a field in the data
  • referenced by some field and stored in the file system

How could we crawl the content of the document along with the metadata set for it in both scenarios? Any ideas?

Thank you in advance

1 Answer 1


Hard to get details on this, but I found an MSDN forum comment by Nick Swan indicating that returning a byte[] array in a BDC finder breaks the crawler. I don't think it is possible to crawl document data this way.

What about writing an ASP.NET application that renders hyperlinks for the document content and then crawl as an external website? I am not sure you have many choices here?

  • 1
    Hi Chris, thanks for the reply. If we render links to those documents, would sharepoint also index their content?
    – Dante
    Commented May 25, 2011 at 10:22
  • @Dante good question. I think that's what Chris is implying, but I can see why you want clarification. You could always try indexing a regular site with links to documents to test, but I have a feeling you may find it does.
    – Tom Resing
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 22:08
  • I think I need to test this. I'm surprised almost no one tried indexing docs stored in blobs in external databases before... Thx for the reply.
    – Dante
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 23:03
  • Just for the record, indexing the content of the document ended up not being a requirement for the client and I didn't test the solution Chris suggested. Still, as this seemed to be the only option available, I marked it as the correct answer.
    – Dante
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 15:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.