For those who actively use the Office 365 checker in the top-left, you may have noticed that Delve is a new option. If you don’t see it yet, rest assured it is coming to you soon!
What Is It?
Delve is the newest search incarnation from Microsoft. It allows people to search across everything they have permissions to within SharePoint, Outlook and Yammer. Search results are almost instantaneous, similar to most internet search engines. However in addition to basic search results and being able to open the file, Delve gives you:
- Who last modified the file
- The location of the file
- A preview
- The file type
- The ability to email a link to the file
- The ability to share the file
- Insight into how many people have viewed the file
What Could It Become
Delve is a giant step forward for search within Microsoft. If you compare Delve to FAST Search, there are striking similarities. Delve is set up in Office 365 to deliver most of FAST with a hint of federated search results (across multiple search sources). FAST Search is touted, especially for On Premise SharePoint, as being able to deliver full federated results from file servers as well as other platforms, such as Box.com. We envision that this federated capability will be included in Delve for Office 356 especially with a few clicks in the near future.
Search centers in SharePoint will likely be replaced with Delve especially as full federation becomes a reality. The caveat being there are ways to customize search in SharePoint to promote qualitative information called metadata. This may require a bit of extra thinking and configuration to make it integrate seamlessly in Delve considering not all federated sources will have this level of metadata. However there is argument that the built-in search is powerful enough to simply go find any word with relevant results, but of course some people will want those specific metadata refiners.
As a final thought, when you compare Delve to traditional internet search engines, it is lacking in search tools such as being able to specify a date range, (office) location or items you have viewed or not viewed. These types of tools are available in FAST search and are likely on Microsoft’s radar as soon-to-be future enhancements. Until then, we really look forward to the future of Delve!