FAST ESP used “Collections” as boundaries for portions of the index. Crawlers for different content sources could be placed in different collections which could then be used in queries in a manner similar to Scopes in SharePoint Search.
With SharePoint Search, the content source could be used in rules defining a scope. However, with the FAST Query Search Service Application (SSA), content source is not available for creating scope rules. The only options are:
This seems to be a serious limitation until one digs a little deeper. Actually, in the FAST Search for SharePoint (FS4SP) index, ContentSource is a Managed Metadata and is available to use as a Property Query in creating a scope rule:
This will permit creating a scope to limit the results of a query to a specific set of content. However, since SharePoint scopes are filters for queries in FS4SP, scopes cannot be used to retrieve query results from more than one content source. Scopes are always applied with an “AND” operator which means that results would need to apply in all scopes used in the query.
However, the Managed Metadata can be used directly in a query to retrieve results from multiple content sources. The query <keyword> ContentSource:Internet OR ContentSource:Intranet would return items containing the keyword from both content sources. It could also be used to eliminate a particular content source in this query: <keyword> NOT ContentSource:Internet.
In the FS4SP index, the ContentSource ManagedMetadata is configured by default as:
Note that the metadata is not configured to be sortable (SortableType = SortableDisabled) or to be used to be used in Refinement Web parts (RefinementEnabled = False). These settings can be changed but will require that content be re-fed or re-crawled to take effect.
Adding ContentSource to a refiner would permit the user to filter search results without re-submitting the query. Enabling Sortable would permit the ContentSource to be added in the sorting Web part on search results pages so that users could choose to sort the search results by Content Source.
Content Source may be a more useful Metadata in some environments than others. Content Sources are normally used to refine the crawling schedules more than to group segments of content.