On the MSDN search forum, people often ask a question like this:
"I have a document named ‘Programming Guide’ but when I search for ‘Pro’ search does not find it."
It may not feel like it, but that amounts to a wildcard search. The MOSS/WSS user interface does not support wildcard search out of the box.
If you dig into the search web parts, you’ll find a checkbox, "Enable search term stemming". Stemming is a human-language term. It’s not a computer language substring() type function.
These are some stems:
- "fish" is a stem to "fishing"
- "major" is a stem to "majoring"
These are not stems:
- "maj" is not a stem to "major"
- "pro" is not a stem to "programmer"
The WSS/MOSS search engine does support wild card search through the API. Here is one blog article that describes how to do that: http://www.dotnetmafia.com/blogs/dotnettipoftheday/archive/2008/03/06/how-to-use-the-moss-enterprise-search-fulltextsqlquery-class.aspx
A 3rd party product, Ontolica, provides wild card search. I have not used that product.