Using site columns to create searchable metadata in SharePoint Online (Office 365)

A SharePoint site column[1] is a field definition that defines data or metadata that can be associated with items in a list or documents in a document library[2], and is a widely used technique in customizing SharePoint.  This article will review how site columns can be used in SharePoint Online, both in adding custom metadata…


SharePoint Search Topology Limits Clarified for the Crawl Component

As more environments begin scaling out to the documented limits for Search, a common question tends to get asked… "Does the Crawl Component count against the 64 component limit?" The short answer is… no, the Crawl Component does not count against…(read more)

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Recreating the Popular Searches Web Part in SharePoint 2013

If you've upgraded from SharePoint 2010 to 2013 and previously made use of the Popular Searches web part, you may or may not have noticed that it no longer exists. In its place, there are now Popular Items and Recommended Items web parts (see: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn794211.aspx). While these web parts are all well and good, if…

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Viewing crawl logs in SharePoint Online (Office 365)

Cross-posting for Dan Harrington and his Office 365 Term-of-the-Day blog. The low-level details of crawling and indexing are not obviously available in a SharePoint Online site, but can be exposed via an eDiscovery Center site.  The procedure detailed below describes how this information can be made accessible to a SharePoint administrator. In SharePoint Online in an Office…


SharePoint 2013 Search: Even Better Best Bets with Exact Matching

First, full credit goes to Mikael Svenson and Petter Skodvin-Hvammen for the original solution.  This blog details a small modification to Mikael's "Better Best Bets" blog found here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mvpawardprogram/archive/2014/07/21/better-best-bets-with-lists-in-sharepoint-2013.aspx. Today's blog is a bare-bones, step-by-step process modifying the Better Best Bets solution to do exact matches on keywords.  The "Better Best Bets" solution can only do…


Multi-level Taxonomy Facets in Azure Search

Azure Search schemas do not explicitly support multi-level taxonomy categories, but such a feature can be approximated by manipulating content prior to indexing and then applying some special handling to the results. Like my previous post, this post will use sample data from AdventureWorks. AdventureWorks has a simple two-level taxonomy with a parent-child relationship. For…


Modeling the AdventureWorks Inventory Database for Azure Search

Modeling structured database content into an efficient search index is rarely a straightforward exercise. Scheduling and change management aside, there exists the challenge of denormalizing source rows away from their table-joined state into search-friendly entities. This post will explore the AdventureWorks sample data, available online, to highlight common experiences in the transition from database to…


Important SharePoint 2013 Patching Script Changes

  Intro and Issue I want to get a quick update out to my subscribers that currently use the SharePoint 2013 patching script I created back in 2013.  The script itself is located here.  While the script has been highly successful for thousands of SharePoint Admin’s, Consultants, and others, the script will always report success…

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PowerShell: Getting Link Counts per Host Domain

Let's consider this throwback Thursday. A couple of years ago, I posted this " PowerShell to Rebalance Crawl Store DBs in SP2013 ". As a side note, I mentioned the following PowerShell to leverage the CrawlLog object for viewing some Crawl Store level…(read more)

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SharePoint 2013 Search: How clicks change relevancy and rank scoring

If you've ever looked at rank log or the ExplainRank.aspx page, you may have noticed that term frequency scoring is only a portion of the total rank score.  There are many other relevancy features which contribute to rank scoring.  Among them are "click events".  Click events measure the interaction, or lack of interaction, between a…