First week of the New Year and already there are updates for SharePoint 2010. This time they comes from KnowledgeLake (news, site) who have announced that they have added FAST search technology support to their Imaging for SharePoint software.

If you haven’t come across it before, KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint is an enterprise scalable SharePoint solution for searching, viewing, securing, routing and annotating electronic content.

It’s not all that surprising that KnowledgeLake should be upgrading its SharePoint offerings -- after all it brands itself as a SharePoint ECM company -- but the addition of FAST should make the management of unstructured content from within SharePoint 2010 a whole lot easier.

SharePoint 2010 and FAST

The new release of Imaging for SharePoint comes in v4.1 and adds the ability to use FAST Search servers to SharePoint’s native search as well as Search Server Express.

Users of SharePoint 2010 will be able to find even unstructured content with pinpoint accuracy and present search results in KnowledgeLake’s web browser content viewer, which has also been integrated into this version.

The result of all this -- leaving aside the fact that the viewer comes as a SharePoint web part and can be placed in any SharePoint page -- is that users can search across entire SharePoint farms without being hindered by traditional information silos.

The new web part viewer also comes with all the functionality of the standard KnowledgeLake Viewer with features like annotations, DocEncrypt and viewing multiple documents in a side-by-side or tabbed configuration.

KnowledgeLake and SharePoint 2010

Since SharePoint 2010 was released in May, its functionality has been extended almost on a weekly basis by companies looking to tie their products in with SharePoint.

KnowledgeLake has a history of working with SharePoint and has been extending it since the 2003 release.

Clearly it hasn’t finished. But the addition of FAST is interesting in a wider Microsoft context. You may recall that in February last year Microsoft announced that it was gradually winding-down Linux and UNIX support for FAST.

Microsoft said it announced the move on the back of the SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 releases and that the purpose of focusing FAST on Windows was so they would be able to offer more FAST innovation with future releases.

Everyone else seem to think that it was a ploy to force Linux and UNIX users to move across to Windows (Autonomy announced in December that it was offering its IDOL search technology as an alternative).

Could it be that Microsoft was just trying to get companies to shift by playing the FAST card and that in reality it is going to leave it to partner companies like KnowledgeLake to really work the FAST beat. It’s just a thought. Time will tell.