European SharePoint Conference Copenhagen 2013 – Enterprise Search

I have finally got round to blogging about the European SharePoint conference. I would have liked to have given the excuse that it has taken this long due my hands still needing time to defrost from the Scandinavian chill but work and life have been on fast forward til now. Ok, enough of me rabbiting on, here is some feedback from the conference and in particular Enterprise Search.

As you may well know, SharePoint 2013 now fully integrates FAST Search for SharePoint into the main product as a service application (so no separate install). Below are some key points about SP2013 search from the Enterprise Search workshop I attended that was run by Agnes Molnar.

  • Fast Search now fully integrated as a service application
  • Deep refiners are not switched on by default, they have to be enabled.
  • A new hover button is available in your search results (very nice feature)
  • Document previews are only available for documents held within SharePoint.
  • Document previews not available for PDFs.
  • Managed Properties are now opened from the ‘Search Schema’ in your search administration.
  • ‘Results Sources’ now replaces ‘Search Scopes’ and ‘Federated Sources’ in search administration.
  • You can now create ‘Result Sources’ from managed properties.
  • A new feature called ‘Continuous Crawling’ can enable you to crawl your content sources continually. However, this is for SharePoint content sources only.
  • The Continuous Crawler component requires resources of at least 6-8 processors.
  • You can now delegate search administration to designated users.
  • People Search is now fully integrated into the Search application using the Fast search capabilities unlike in SP2010 where it had to use SharePoint Search only to crawl people data.
  • Better query rules, one query request returns multiple result sets.
  • Document parsing is different than 2010, the crawl component crawls every file in the content source regardless of the document extension. I believe powershell can be used to exclude certain document extensions if needed. This will mean that your ndex will be larger in SharePoint 2013, worth looking out for.

I hope this sheds a little light into the SP 2013 Search Application. Some companies will be some way off migrating to SharePoint 2013 but the more information we are aware of before migrating then the more prepared we will be.

I will have another blog on troubleshooting and the performance of SharePoint Search from the conference which will follow soon.

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Making SharePoint Search Available in Windows Explorer

In SharePoint 2010 there is a nice little feature in a search site called a ‘search connector’ that enables you to run search queries from Windows Explorer. The search connector is displayed in your favourites drop down. Also, you can have more that one search connector if you have a number of different search sites configured in your SharePoint environment and name them accordingly e.g Intranet Search, Team Site Search etc.

Below are the details of how to set up a search connector:

1) Run a search query from your search site (Any OOTB search site) and click on the third icon below which will be at the top of your search results and slightly to the right.

2) Select ‘Add’ to the Add Search Connector prompt’.

Your Search icon will now appear in your Favourites menu in Windows Explorer. The icon can be renamed accordingly.