SharePoint Search tutorial

This SharePoint tutorial, will discuss SharePoint 2010 search, advantages of fast search in SharePoint 2010 and Enhancements in SharePoint 2013 Search and what are the Search enhancements for Excel Documents inside SharePoint, etc.

SharePoint 2010 Search

Search capability has become one of the most important nowadays. Is makes people free form browsing through lists and libraries and other locations in order to find the necessary information. Search helps to increase productivity and focus on the career goals. So, as a result it became an essential requirement for companies when choosing their business and collaboration infrastructure.

Well, I can say that SharePoint 2010 meets all their search requirements. With it users don`t need to purchase special products or enter different applications.

Within SharePoint Search capabilities customers can appreciate all the benefits of search functionalities and the ability to get relevant results within a few seconds. SharePoint Enterprise search and FAST Search Server 2010 provide a significant search experience for users.

SharePoint Search can crawl the huge amount of data and may be customized to have the highest level of performance. It also empowers users to assign Best Bets in order to get the most relevant information, use thumbnails and previews for easy recognition, search using social tags and metadata like author, title, date and so on.

People and expertise search enables to find easily the necessary information workers and experts, also using their nicknames or phonetic search. It became possible to find quickly recently authored information and sort results.

The search refinement also has been improved. Users can build Multiple Relevance Profiles and tune relevance by Document or Site Promotions. To continue, customers can get similar results, use query suggestions and related queries, create search scopes and appreciate the mobile search experience. This and even more now became available within SharePoint 2010.

What also can be added, FAST Search Server 2010 enables users to create Search-Powered Applications and customize search for language unique for company`s business and also personalize it according to the working area and the permission level of the user.

As you can see, the abilities of SharePoint Search are really great. But keep in mind that they require a Standard of Enterprise CAL. To start up with SharePoint 2010 and get all its rich functionalities you need to sign up an appropriate subscription plan or purchase SharePoint 2010 dedicated server from a reliable hosting company, which is critical to SharePoint hosting experience and has a high level of performance, security and support. The best way to test it – is to sign up for 30 days free trial. I can say that PlexHosted may be a good example of such company.

Advantages of FAST Search in SharePoint 2010

Here are some of the advantages of FAST search in SharePoint 2010.

  • FAST Search for SharePoint adds visual cues into the search experience. These provide an engaging, useful, and efficient way for information workers to interact with search results. People find information faster when they recognize documents visually.
  • FAST Search provides Thumbnails and Previews for word documents and powerpoint presentations. A thumbnail image is displayed in the search results page, so that it helps in finding information fatser.
  • Also a scrolling preview is available for PowerPoint documents, enabling an information worker to browse the actual slides in a presentation.
  • FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint adds Visual Best Bets for keywords.
  • FAST Search provides deep refinement. refinements are displayed down the left-hand side of the page in the core search results. They provide self-service drill-down capabilities for filtering the search results returned. The refinements are automatically determined by SharePoint Server 2010, using tags and metadata in the search results.
  • FAST Search for SharePoint provides Conversational search, that allows the user to respond to results and steer to the answer or insight.
  • With FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, users can sort results on any managed properties, such as sorting by Author, Document Size, or Title. This sorting is more powerful than sorting in SharePoint Server 2010 Search.
  • With FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, results returned by a query include links to “Similar Results”. When a user clicks on the link, the search is redefined and rerun to include documents that are similar to the result in question.
  • FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint provides a result collapsing capability which can be used for de-duplication and also for result roll-up. Documents that have the same value stored in a field in the index will be collapsed as one document in the search result.
  • FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint adds the ability for you to specify individual documents within a site for promotion or demotion and, furthermore, enables you to associate each promotion or demotion with user contexts.
  • FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint provides two way and one-way synonyms. With a two – way synonym set of, for example, {auto car}, a search for “auto” would be translated into a search for “auto OR car”, and a search for “car” would be translated into a search for “car OR auto”.

Enhancements in SharePoint 2013 Search

Now, we will discuss few enhancements in SharePoint 2013 search.

Below are some changes in SharePoint 2013 search.

  • Search user interface improvements include a Search hover panel that provides us with full content previews for Office documents and rich assets.
  • The Search refinements have also been enhanced with the inclusion of a visual refiner that provides greater context and refinement options.
  • Previously in SharePoint 2010, SharePoint has different search products like: Search Server Express, SharePoint Enterprise Search and FAST Search Server. But in SharePoint 2013 they have consolidated to a single SharePoint Search platform. The new architecture of 2013 Search has been designed to include the best components of these previous products along with options for better scale out of environments providing both redundancy and performance benefits.
  • In Search 2013 you can do administration at both the site collection and an individual site level. This includes being able to define local Search metadata, the sources of Search results and configurable display options.
  • Content model changes are delivered through Search Content web parts that leverage the Search index for performance and allow the content to be sourced and shared across site collections.
  • Search Result Customisation is no longer dependant on XSLT but instead is built using plain-old HTML and JavaScript-based Display Templates.
  • Through analytics, in SharePoint 2013 search you will get results like Popular results, My Previous Searches etc.

Searching is Enhanced for Excel Documents inside SharePoint

The latest version of Aspose.Cells for SharePoint 3.0.2 is out now for SharePoint 2010 search for excel documents.

In this release, we have provided enhanced support for searching in an Excel document. We have also included some other enhancements and fixes; we have fixed an issue regarding setting license using “Aspose.Total.SharePoint.License.wsp”, we have also fixed an issue regarding an interface @ SharePoint. There is also an improvement where we fix an issue when performing Search feature in Action menu(s) @ document root folder in Aspose.Cells for SharePoint 2007.

The main improved features and bug fixes added in this release are listed below:

  • Search within the Excel documents – Place links to find content in the document search results so that data can be displayed in the document’s preview
  • Fixes an issue regarding the setting Aspose .Total.SharePoint.License.wsp
  • Destination file extension does not change when new file type is selected from the “Convert To:” drop down list) is now fixed.
  • Exception is fixed when performing Search in Action menu(s) @ document root folder for ACSP2007 (Aspose.Cells for SharePoint 2007)

Adding Filter in the Refinement Panel of the Search Page in SharePoint 2010

In this article, we will discuss how to add Filter in the Refinement Panel of the Search Page in SharePoint 2010.

The following are the steps to add refinement in the refinement panel of the SharePoint page.

Extract XML of the Filter Category Definition

we need to extract the xml of the Filter Category Definition from the existing default refinement panel.

  • In your browser, navigate to the results page URL: http://SiteURL/Pages/results.aspx
  • On the Site Actions menu, click Edit Page.
  • In the Refinement Panel Web Part, click the edit arrow to display the Web Part menu, and then click Edit Web Part. This opens the Web Part tool pane.
  • In the Refinement section, clear the Use Default Configuration check box.
  • In the Refinement section, click the ellipsis (…) button for the Filter Category Definition field.

This opens the Text Entry window for the Refinement Web Part’s FilterCategoriesDefinition property. You can modify the XML directly in this window; however, you may find it easier to copy the code to a file.

The Search Service is currently offline in SharePoint 2010 search

Now, we will discuss how to resolve the error “The Search Service is currently offline” which comes in SharePoint 2010 search.

If you got the error “The Search Service is currently offline” in SharePoint search. Then try the following methods which may be useful to you.

In this method, we need to run the Office SharePoint Server Search service. For this go to Start > Administrative Tools > Office SharePoint Server Search. If it is not running then run the service.

Try the below stsadm commands.

stsadm -o osearch -action stop
stsadm -o osearch -action start

And during this command if it prompts to deleted the SSP then select NO.

Hope these 2 solution will work.

This is actually a tricky error. Sometimes professionals also stop the MOSS search service and recreating the service with a new database. But this is not a recommended solution.

You may like following SharePoint search tutorials:

Here, we learned SharePoint 2010 search, advantages of fast search in SharePoint 2010 and Enhancements in SharePoint 2013 Search and what are Search enhancement for Excel Documents inside SharePoint etc.

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