One of the main reasons that you'll consider purchasing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is for the robust search and indexing features that are built in to it. These features allow you to crawl any type of content and provide improved relevance in search results. You'll find these features to be some of the most compelling parts of this server suite.
For both SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Microsoft is using a common search engine, Microsoft Search (mssearch.exe). This is welcome news for those of us who worked extensively in the previous versions of SharePoint. Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 used the Microsoft SQL Server full-text engine, and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 used the MSSearch.exe (actually named SharePointPS-Search) engine. The problems this represented, such as incompatibility between indexes or having to physically move to the portal to execute a query against the portal's index, have been resolved in this version of SharePoint Products and Technologies.
In this chapter, the discussion of the search and indexing architecture is interwoven with administrative and best practices discussions. Because this is a deep, wide, and complex feature, you'll need to take your time to digest and understand both the strengths and challenges that this version of Microsoft Search introduces.