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My file server has different files visible to different people, based on groups and file permissions.

I planned to buy a Google Search Appliance and configure it to crawl this network shared drive via CIFS (aka SMB).

Will the search appliance present a user only with files to which he/she has access?

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From the Google documentation:

When a user performs a search request, the search appliance performs these checks before serving secure content:

  1. If you specify policy ACLs (access control list) rules, the search appliance checks to see if a policy ACL rules applies to a target document. If a rule applies to a URL pattern, then the search appliance grants or denies access to the URL based on the rule. If a rule does not apply then the search appliance continues to Step 2.
  2. The search appliance acquires the user's credentials to enable impersonation, or performs an authentication check to establish the user's identity. If Kerberos authentication is specified under Crawler Access, the search appliance will try Kerberos authentication before attempting other methods.
  3. The search appliance impersonates the user, or performs an authorization check to determine whether the user can view the content. If the user is authorized to view the content, the content will appear in the user's search results.

So you can set it up to only show the user files they have permission to use.

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