How To Figure Out SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Full-text Query Syntax
It has come to my attention that at this time there are no real documents out there (at all - even internal to Microsoft) that discuss the ins and outs of querying SPS 2003 via the search web service and fulltext search queries. Nobody seems to have the magic answer as to how to formulate the query - what you can SELECT, what goes in the WHERE clause, etc.
I don’t have the answer, but I know how you can get a jumpstart on figuring out how it works.
On the SharePoint Portal Server 2003 “advanced search” page (the one that allows you to search over document metadata), do a search. Once you get the results you want, do a “View Source.” Scroll down near the bottom (or search for “SELECT” - match the upper case letters, too) and check this out: They embed the entire SQL full-text query right in the page.
Apparently that’s how the MS guys figure out how the thing works; if it works for them, it should work for you, too. Good luck!