Last week at the SharePoint Conference we announced the Search Community Toolkit which is a set of tools, utilities and samples available from CodePlex to extend and enhance the search features in SharePoint Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2007 for Search and the recently announced Search Server and Search Server Express.

Some of the tools and utilities have been around for a while and have proved very popular such as Faceted Search and others are brand new.  Two new additions are;

Search ASP.NET Server Controls - These 2 controls replicate the Search Box and Core Results Web Parts but as ASP.NET Server Controls bound to the search web service.  Using these controls on an ASP.NET web site along with Search Search Express will give you powerful .com site search for FREE! As the search web service is identical between SharePoint Server, SharePoint Server for Search and Search Server these controls are compatible with all 3 products and product versions.

Search Center Branding Tool - This tool installs as a SharePoint Feature and allows you to very easily switch off the SharePoint chrome on the Search Center.  The tool is primarily focused on Search Server Express and helps you easily brand a standalone instance of Search Server or just remove the default SharePoint look and feel with a single click.

If you want to get involved, have feedback or ideas for other tools then please feel free to get in touch!

Richard Riley
Senior Technical Product Manager
Microsoft Corp