I was asked to have a look at an old unanswered question on Stack Exchange: “Can you create a Query Rule that matches in the middle of the query?”. Challenge accepted. I looked at all of the other options and they either match the beginning, the end, or the entire query. This was SharePoint Enterprise. Good thing. SharePoint Online does not support RegEx in Query Rules, but SharePoint Enterprise does. read more…
When migrating content from an old version of SharePoint to a new one; or from SharePoint on-prem to Office 365; or from a file share to SharePoint / OneDrive / Office 365 – one of the most critical questions is always the findability of content, regardless of its migration status.
Often, migration takes a long time (even months), and users get confused very soon if they don’t know where to find what.
Search can be of help.
Today, in the age of “modern”, “personalized” and “intelligent” search applications, sometimes it’s still hard to find the content what we’re searching for. “I cannot find the document I am searching for!” – is still one of the most common complaint. read more…
When we search for information often we know exactly the term or phrase we want to find more information on. But that’s not always the case. They are times when we search to see what we get, trying out different keywords, and phrases. It’s at these uncertain times when we appreciate the suggestions appear under the search box that we can scroll down and click enter to choose the term from under the search box list. read more…
Content Types is an important asset many organizations don’t pay enough attention to. This feature is available both on-prem and in the cloud, and besides its generic usability benefits, it helps content findability, too. In this blog post, I’m going to focus on two benefits:
Search relevance is something that everyone should understand but only a few pay enough attention to. In this blog post, my goal is to demonstrate the art of sorting search results without creating rocket-science-complex custom ranking models.
There are several options, though, which are worth to be aware of. Some of them are even easy-to-implement, so you can get an instant boost to your results’ relevance. read more…
Information Architecture (IA) is a commonly used term for the art and science of organizing and labeling content (documents, web sites, blog posts, emails, etc.) to support findability and usability.
In different systems, we can find different tools and solutions for supporting Information Architecture. In SharePoint and Office 365, we have a lot of tools and options, including sites, groups, lists, document libraries, folders, content types, site and list columns, managed metadata, workflows, document ID and many more.
The feature of search refiners has been in SharePoint since the version of 2010. In SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 and Office 365 we have deep refiners, which means each result in the result set is processed, calculated and used when calculating the refiners. I have explained this concept in this blog post earlier. read more…
Crawling is the process of gathering the content for search. To retrieve information, the crawl component connects to the content sources by using the proper out-of-the-box or custom connectors. After retrieving the content, the Crawl Component passes crawled items to the Content Processing Component.
There are three main types of SharePoint crawl: Full Crawl, Incremental Crawl and Continuous Crawl. read more…
When it comes to set up / configure / enhance search, there is no silver bullet action plan that works for everyone. However, there is a set of search components that always can be considered to be configured correctly.
As always, everything connects to everything else. This is the reason why I’ve created this infographic about SharePoint’s search components and their relationships. read more…
When working with Search, I often get the question how to set up the Search Center, and how to configure and customize its Search Pages. In this blog post, I am summarizing the basic configuration steps to follow.
Please note, these steps can be applied in SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 on-premises as well as in Office 365 / SharePoint Online.
See the first part of this series here: Is SharePoint Search Dead?
Despite all these signals, there has continued to be a quite healthy investment from Microsoft in search, and SharePoint search is a remarkably capable and very affordable product. The search market was commoditized for quite some time, due largely to Microsoft and Google.
The market is changing, though. And there are a lot of positive signs for Microsoft in Enterprise Search. read more…
I’m asked regularly whether Microsoft has abandoned the Enterprise Search market. This was a frequent question in 2015, and less frequent in 2016, but there’s been a recent uptick, and I got this question 10 times last month. As a long-standing search nerd that lives close to Microsoft, I know the answer is NO. But I was baffled about why this question keeps coming up.
So I decided to investigate. This blog takes you through what I’ve found and how you can answer the question when it comes up. Search Explained is the perfect place to publish it. read more…
In my many years of working with enterprise search, the one thing which companies want solved first is finding people. They might have an employee directory or they might already be using SharePoint user profiles, but there are always tweaks to be made to make it better. – It’s not rocket science from a technical perspective, as the hard part is figuring out which pieces of data about a person should be stored in the SharePoint user profile, where does it come from – the age-old question about master data, and how do you want to use this information in a findability scenario around your employees. read more…
Last year I was introduced to the amazing work of Brian Pendergrass, Russ Maxwell, Brent Groom and Eric Dixon in the form of the SRx Core the SharePoint Search Health Reports. This suite of reports was created to help evaluate, monitor and maintain on-premises SharePoint farms by providing DEEP feedback and analysis of the SharePoint Search Service Application. The core is a set of “tests” that you can run collectively or independently and in detail to determine the overall health of your SharePoint Search Service Application (SSA).
Running the Tests
Running the tests starts with initializing the reports. Run:
This will build a local cache and do some initialization of the object needed to run the reports.
“Advanced Search” is a great feature, although not utilized in many cases. Out-of-the-box, it provides a default set of available options, which are too general for most businesses. However, it can be enhanced with some easy customizations.
In this post, I’m going to demonstrate one of the most powerful configurations of “Advanced Search” in SharePoint 2013/2016 and Office 365: how to add our custom property filters.
Autumn season is here, with so many events again: the calendar is full with workshops and conferences again.
One of the sessions I am doing this season has the title “Findability in YOUR Organization”.
There is a reason why I highlighted the word “YOUR”. Each organization is unique and has a different need than the others. Therefore, each organization requires a different approach and solution. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to Search.
To be able to serve the organization’s search needs, the first things to understand is these three search processes:
- Crawl & Index
When it comes to the search experience, the look-and-feel of the search results are always a big question. In most cases, the out-of-the-box “ten blue lines” experience is not enough, creating custom Display Templates is almost always required.