Since Cobalt V8.339 we can use Joomla's Smart Search for Cobalt Articles.
Even though it "works" there are some areas which still needs improvement.
I made a test with 100K records (very limited text information to index) occupying ~ 300MB. The Finder index created another 300MB with around 460K terms. I somehow recall a comment somewhere, saying that "Smart search/ Finder" will slow down at around 1.5M terms.
It seems (without really checking) that the fieldsdata column of #__js_res_record and the Cobalt article title are the source for the Smart Search Indexer. The way Cobalt stores "searchable" field content is just by separating it there with a "comma", it looks like ", , 12471, , , , AA-2045". Now, this will be the "description", Smart Search will display below the title in its search results. Since it can contain information of several fields, it might look awkward.
**Solution for it would be a template to display it in a more organised way.
Example could be a list template. Or even include "Smart search" into a markup template.
An advantage of Smart Search is the Autocomplete Feature:
A Problem with the existing "Smart Search/Finder" integration:
If the Cobalt installation has several sections, it will always display results from ALL indexed records (records from other sections, not only the one you are searching at the moment). It might therefore even confuse users.
The Cobalt Finder plugin should be enhanced, so that it will index per section using the TYPE_ID column of #__finder_links as an indicator for each Section to address this issue. **
What can "Smart Search" provide what Cobalt does not have?
The "Suggestion" feature - valuable for typos etc.
"Syntax highlighter", which (hopefully) can easily be included in the normal Cobalt 8 search as well.