Sql Server 2008 does not natively support hit highlighting in its FTS functionality, and currently you must implement yourself <a href="https://stackoverflow.com/questions/69089/how-to-do-hit-highlighting-of-results-from-a-sql-server-full-text-query" rel="nofollow">using a variety of techniques</a>. Microsoft has <a href="http://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/details/295100/sql-2008-full-text-search-summaries-hit-highlighting" rel="nofollow">made some vague noises</a> about including it in future SQL Server releases.
Does anyone know if SQL Server 2012 FTS will have native support for hit-highlighting?Answer1:
I've been playing with SQL Server 2012 since the very first beta and this is not a full-text enhancement that I have heard of (and I have been talking about several others in my presentations on new features at various events, including the change to proximity and semantic search).
Seems like hit-highlighting was an "important feature" back in 2007, according to <a href="http://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/details/295100/sql-2008-full-text-search-summaries-hit-highlighting" rel="nofollow">Connect Item #295100 : Full-text search summaries (hit-highlighting)</a>. But in spite of that comment from Microsoft that it is an important feature and they didn't add it in 2008 only because they ran out of time, we still don't see it in 2008 R2 or 2012, and the item has since been closed as "Won't Fix" without any further explanation. I will try to prod for more information (I have a few ins over in Redmond) but I can't promise anything. Another one has been opened in the meantime: <a href="http://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/details/722324/would-be-nice-if-sql-full-text-search-provided-snippet-highlighting-support" rel="nofollow">Connect Item #722324 : Would be nice if SQL Full Text Search provided snippet / highlighting support</a>. This one will probably be closed either as a duplicate of the above item, or simply closed as "Won't Fix." Unless there is compelling information for them to do otherwise. Which is where you come in!
You may want to vote for these two items (even the one that's closed) and add a comment explaining your use case. While votes do count for something, and you might think these suggestions are being brushed off because the vote counts aren't high, that's definitely not the only factor involved. In order to justify investment in new features they need to have substantial evidence that adding the feature will save a business money, make them more productive, make them more profitable, or sell more licenses. So don't just say "well I want it" - explain why. I get into some details about qualitative bug comments in my blog post from last September, entitled, "<a href="http://sqlblog.com/blogs/aaron_bertrand/archive/2011/09/20/want-your-bug-fixed-file-a-good-bug.aspx" rel="nofollow">Want your bug fixed? File a good bug!</a>" Never mind the title, there is information about suggestions too, not just bugs.
I've had some exposure to a new plugin called ThinkHighlight that provides this functionality. I haven't had the opportunity to thoroughly test it or provide a decent review, but I can tell you that it does exactly what you would expect: provide flexible hit highlighting across languages.
<a href="http://www.interactivethoughts.com/products/thinkhighlight/" rel="nofollow">http://www.interactivethoughts.com/products/thinkhighlight/</a>