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Azure Cognitive Search

Build modern mobile and web applications with an AI-powered search service

Power retrieval-augmented generation apps to discover content insights

Azure Cognitive Search, an AI-powered information retrieval platform, helps developers build rich search experiences and generative AI apps that combine large language models with enterprise data. Implement search functionality for any mobile or search application within your organization or as part of software as a service (SaaS) apps

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Learn how vector search (preview) powers the next generation of generative AI applications

Workplace search to help internal teams explore databases and files

SaaS search to build intelligent, cutting-edge, market-ready SaaS applications

Website search to help visitors find information quickly and easily

E-commerce to help customers find and purchase products and services

Simplify development and delivery of search solutions

Reduce the complexity of data ingestion and search-index creation through integration with Azure storage solutions and simple RESTful APIs and SDKs. Deploy a fully configured search service with intuitive user experiences such as scoring, faceting, suggestions, synonyms, and geo-search. Avoid the operational overhead needed to debug index corruption, monitor service availability, or manually scale during traffic fluctuations.

Surface the most relevant results for your users

Surface the most relevant results for your users

Use advanced deep-learning models from Microsoft Research and Bing to provide contextual and relevant results in your apps. Employ the semantic search capability to better understand the intent of customers’ search terms, offer significantly improved results, and drive deeper customer engagement. Semantic search also enables knowledge mining and summary results, giving your users quick snippets without scrolling through numerous results.

Create next-generation apps with Azure OpenAI Service

Combine Azure Cognitive Search with Azure OpenAI Service to apply the most advanced AI language models to your search solutions using your own data as the basis for responses. Use conversational language for knowledge-base retrieval of enterprise data with ChatGPT, available in Azure OpenAI Service

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Use state-of-the-art vector representations

Store, index, and search vector embeddings for sentences, images, audio, graphs, and more. Find information that’s semantically similar to search queries, even if the search terms aren’t exact matches. With support for hybrid search, Azure Cognitive Search offers the best of keyword and vector search. Encode vectors using Azure OpenAI Service embeddings, open-source models, or your own vector representations.

Customize search capabilities with AI integrations

Tailor the search experience to meet the unique requirements of your organization. Azure Cognitive Search offers customizable capabilities such as key phrase extraction, language detection, optical character recognition (OCR), image analysis, translation, and role-based access control (RBAC). Take advantage of integration with Azure AI services including Speech, Vision, Language, and Azure OpenAI Service to further transform raw, unstructured information into searchable content. 

An illustration demonstrating how you can easily create searchable content using integrated AI

Scale to manage large datasets and high-traffic loads

Whether you're a small business or a large enterprise, easily index and search through massive amounts of data to deliver a great search experience for your users without worrying about managing infrastructure. Azure Cognitive Search is designed to handle large amounts of data and support high-traffic loads, ensuring that your search solution can scale as your organization grows. 

Apply AI responsibly

Get access to cloud search tools, guidelines, and additional resources to help you create a responsible AI solution with Azure Cognitive Search. Read the Microsoft responsible AI principles. 

Built-in security and compliance

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  • ITAR

  • CJIS


  • IRS 1075

  • Get the power, control, and customization 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.

Get started with an Azure free account


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Trusted by companies of all sizes

“Our in-house Azure-based search engine is equipped with AI and semantic capabilities to index terabytes of data across various heterogeneous data sources—thereby democratizing Beiersdorf’s R&D knowledge among our research scientists."

Stephan Abend: Head of the Data Science Hub, Beiersdorf

"We think of Azure Cognitive Search as a central pillar for our engagement model because it consolidates the AI Services that we already use so that we can effectively tackle unstructured data."

Athanasios Pavlou: Senior Manager, Advanced Analytics and Cloud, KPMG

“Accessing useful information quickly is critically important to providing a differentiated client experience, which is why we use Azure Cognitive Search.“

Aditya Thadani: Vice President, H&R Block

“Using Azure Cognitive Search, [it] will take, literally, three seconds to search for a keyword across 2,000 documents and to find it—it’s amazing. Our clinicians were blown away.“

Jonathon Artingstall: Associate Director Information & Performance, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

“There’s an immense opportunity to apply Azure tools and resources across different divisions in Ecolab to give our customers more value and make our processes more efficient.“ 

Sampson Linus: Director of Corporate Technologies for Research, Development, and Engineering, Ecolab

“We have seen our customers experience a 70 percent decrease in the time it takes to create conversational AI content.“

Stacey Kyler: Product Manager, Zammo

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Get the latest Azure Cognitive Search news

  • Can ChatGPT work with your enterprise data?

  • Report: Microsoft named a Leader in December 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Insight Engines1 

  • Forrester Consulting study: Fuel Application Innovation with Cloud AI Services 

Frequently asked questions about Azure Cognitive Search

  • Read the Azure SLA.

  • Azure Cognitive Search is available in more than 30 countries/regions worldwide, and new ones are being added regularly.

  • Built-in indexers are available for Azure Cosmos DB, Azure SQL Database, Azure Blob Storage, and Microsoft SQL Server hosted in Azure Virtual Machines. Use Azure Data Factory, with more than 80 connectors, or Azure Logic Apps to connect to your data source. Alternatively, push data into an Azure Cognitive Search index, which has no restrictions on data source type.

  • Azure Cognitive Search works with several popular formats, including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel; Adobe PDF; and PNG, RTF, JSON, HTML, and XML.

  • Azure Cognitive Search is a platform as a service that helps developers create their own cloud search solutions. Microsoft Search is software as a service integrated across all your Microsoft 365 apps and services.

  • Azure Cognitive Search supports more than 50 languages.

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  • 1 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines, 12 December 2022, Stephen Emmott, Anthony Mullen, David Pidsley, and Tim Nelms. Gartner is a registered trademark and service mark and Magic Quadrant is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

    Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.