This page gives an overview of DocFetcher Pro and DocFetcher Server, two pieces of commercial software related to the free and open-source desktop search software DocFetcher.

DocFetcher Pro

About DocFetcher Pro: DocFetcher Pro is the commercial big brother on steroids of the free DocFetcher. Both DocFetcher and DocFetcher Pro are desktop search software that can be run on Windows, Linux and macOS. What is desktop search? To put it simply, desktop search is to your local machine what Google is to the internet: It allows you to quickly find files on your computer by typing in words contained in not just the filename, but also the file contents.

More on desktop search: For a more detailed explanation of desktop search and its usefulness, please see the DocFetcher website. And yes, the latest iterations of Windows and other operating systems do come with built-in file content search. But then, why torture yourself if you can use real search software that won’t slow your computer to a crawl, is easy to use, and actually finds what you’re looking for? If you’re looking for software that can accomplish these amazing feats, you’ve come to the right place.

DocFetcher Server

About DocFetcher Server: DocFetcher Server is a commercial cousin of DocFetcher and DocFetcher Pro. It features a server-client architecture and can be accessed through the web browser, making it suitable as a search server in a private or company network, or as a search server for remote access over the internet. While DocFetcher Server can be run on Windows, Linux and macOS, it can be accessed from any desktop computer on which an up-to-date version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge is installed.

Project History

DocFetcher (2007): The free and open-source DocFetcher was first published in 2007 and is now legacy software, meaning it is no longer being actively developed, but will still receive bugfixes and support funded through DocFetcher Pro and DocFetcher Server. In addition, DocFetcher’s open-source license guarantees that it will remain free forever. Thus, DocFetcher is now essentially the free, “basic” version, while DocFetcher Pro and DocFetcher Server are the paid versions with more “stuff” in them.

DocFetcher Pro (2021): DocFetcher Pro was first published in 2021 and is a full rewrite of the old DocFetcher, incorporating much improved programming technology and over a decade of lessons learned. This post goes into more detail about where DocFetcher and DocFetcher Pro came from and why the rewrite was undertaken.

DocFetcher Server (2022): DocFetcher Server was first published in 2022 and is the remote-access, multi-user version of DocFetcher Pro. It reuses parts of the DocFetcher Pro codebase for core functionality like indexing and searching, while featuring a new server-client architecture and a web-based UI. For some background: The original DocFetcher was not designed with multi-user support in mind, so the latter was only tacked on as an afterthought. As a result, multi-user support in DocFetcher has always been rather buggy and difficult to set up, and remained a sore spot of the software throughout the years. However, a proper implementation of multi-user support on top of the original DocFetcher codebase would have been extremely difficult and would have required rewriting large parts of the codebase. And indeed, this is one of the reasons why the codebase was completely rewritten with DocFetcher Pro, and why it then took another year to implement DocFetcher Server.