Azure Cognitive Search

AI-powered cloud search service for mobile and web app development

Uncover latent insights from all your content

Azure Cognitive Search is the only cloud search service with built-in AI capabilities that enrich all types of information to easily identify and explore relevant content at scale. Formerly known as Azure Search, it uses the same integrated Microsoft natural language stack that Bing and Office have used for more than a decade and AI services across vision, language and speech. Spend more time innovating and less time maintaining a complex cloud search solution.

Fully managed search as a service to reduce complexity and scale easily

Auto-complete, geospatial search, filtering and faceting capabilities for a rich user experience

Built-in AI capabilities including OCR, key phrase extraction and named entity recognition to unlock insights

Flexible integration of custom models, classifiers and rankers to fit your domain-specific needs

Developer resources


Go to the documentation overview to learn how to consolidate searchable content into a single fast index for a broad range of scenarios and learn more about the cognitive search pipeline.

Learning modules and quickstarts

See how to extract and enrich content using AI-powered algorithms with cognitive search resources and sample data, learn how Cognitive Search enables knowledge mining, take a knowledge mining bootcamp and use the knowledge mining solution accelerator.

Azure migration

Explore resources to migrate apps, data and infrastructure at your own pace. Use assessment, migration and cost management tools free as you transition your on-premises workloads to Azure Virtual Machines.

Community and Azure support

Ask questions and get support from Microsoft engineers and Azure community experts on MSDN Forum and Stack Overflow or contact Azure support.

Popular templates and labs

Discover video walkthroughs and popular quickstart templates for common configurations made by Microsoft and the community.

Start, maintain and scale with minimal investment

Deploy a search index quickly and avoid operational maintenance. This fully managed cloud search service reduces the complexity of data ingestion and index creation by integrating with popular Azure storage solutions and offering index functionality exposed through a simple REST API or .NET SDK. Deploy a fully configured search service with intuitive user experiences such as scoring, faceting, suggestions, synonyms and geo-search—all while avoiding the operational overhead needed to debug index corruption, monitor service availability or manually scale during traffic fluctuations.

See how one customer saved months of upfront dev time setting up a search index

Create searchable content using integrated AI

Take advantage of Azure AI speech, vision and language services to transform raw, unstructured information into searchable content. Easily orchestrate AI services that bring structure to your data before it is indexed by defining your own Cognitive Search skillset. Applying AI capabilities such as OCR, translation, key phrase extraction, location, people and organisation detection is as simple as checking a box in the Cognitive Search portal.

Customise to meet goals and industry requirements

Extend the Cognitive Search platform to match your specific business goals and industry requirements. Better understand your data using custom models and classifiers, such as legal clause classifiers or manufacturing material identifiers, available in any language or framework. After you have deployed your cloud search service, quickly adjust your search results using rich, custom-tuned ranking models to tie your results to your business goals.

See how one customer met industry needs

Advanced data security and compliance

  • Protect your content from malicious acts with encryption built in throughout the entire indexing pipeline.
  • Maintain security with support for virtual networks.
  • Meet a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance standards.
  • Control per-user access to content through security filters.
  • Get multilayer Microsoft security across physical datacenters, infrastructure and operations.

Get the power, control and customisation you need with flexible pricing

Azure Cognitive Search is available in combinable search units that include reliable storage and throughput to set up and scale a cloud search experience quickly and cost-effectively. Add search units to increase queries per second, to enable high availability or for faster data ingestion. Remove search units during low traffic periods.

Not available Free Basic Standard Storage Optimised
Best for Estimating a projected index size and capacity planning. Running workloads requiring light compute and storage requirements. Most workloads, offering a balance of compute, memory and storage. Running workloads with high volumes of data cost-effectively when you need less memory and compute.
Search unit Free Basic option S1, S2 and S3 options L1 and L2 options
Additional capabilities Document cracking: image extraction
AI enrichment

Get started with Azure Cognitive Search

Sign up for an Azure free account and create a Cognitive Search service.

Learn how to ingest and enrich data from a variety of sources.

Integrate search into new websites or chatbots or add it to an existing application.

See how customers are using the cloud for sophisticated search

Delivering faster, deeper, more cost-effective data insights

Archive360, a digital archiving service, asks complex questions of petabyte-sized datasets quickly and cost-effectively.

Archive 360

Driving seamless search for millions of customers

Canadian vehicle search site uses Cognitive Search for its auction site, image search and mobile and web search.

Auto Trader

Scaling your business effectively and reliably

Audioburst, an audio search startup, scales its voice-based content platform using Cognitive Search.


Creating new ways to connect users with the most relevant content

Real Madrid's digital sports platform uses Cognitive Search to deliver rich content to fans, giving them control of specific cameras to review key plays and player moves in live matches.

Real Madrid

Improving productivity with smarter solutions

Contract management company Icertis reduced time in contract negotiations, lowered risk, improved contract compliance and increased revenue by integrating Cognitive Search into its platform.


Eliminating manual processes to reduce time, error and risk

Global engineering company Howden uses Cognitive Search to scale its technical review process to more quickly and accurately bid on incoming products.


Learn how partners are building intelligent search solutions

Cognitive Search updates, blogs and announcements

Frequently asked questions about Cognitive Search

  • Cognitive Search is available in more than 20 countries/regions worldwide and new ones are being added regularly.
  • We guarantee at least 99.9 percent availability for paid tiers.
  • Built-in indexers are available for Azure Cosmos DB, Azure SQL Database, Azure Blob Storage and Microsoft SQL Server hosted in an Azure virtual machine. Use Azure Data Factory, with more than 80 connectors or Azure Logic Apps to connect to your data source. Alternatively, push data into a Cognitive Search index, which has no restrictions on data source type.
  • Cognitive Search works with several popular formats, including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel; Adobe PDF; and PNG, RTF, JSON, HTML and XML.
  • Cognitive Search is a platform as a service that helps developers create their own cloud search solutions. Microsoft Search uses Cognitive Search technology to offer software as a service for enterprise search within Microsoft products.
  • Cognitive Search is available in more than 50 languages.

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