Sonntag, 26. August 2012

Search Driven Applications with Office 365 / SharePoint Online - Part III

Part III: Search Driven Application in vNext of Office 365 / SharePoint Online and some thoughts of working with external data in Office 365 / SharePoint Online and the opportunities in the context of Search Driven Solutions.

In Part I and Part II we talked about what we can do in the context of Search Driven Solution with Office 365 / SharePoint Online (all this also worked with the new version). Now let’s have a look what further options we have with the new version of Office 365 and SharePoint 2013.

Firs lets have a look of what is new in Office 365 in the context of Search. The absolute highlight is that we now have a Search Admin Site like in an on-premise installation. I wrote about this is my common blog post series about news in SharePoint 2013 Search PART I

Let me centralize the main benefit for Search Driven Applications:

-          We can now pool and merge crawled and managed properties like in an on-premise installation. :


-          We can create own managed properties with all the functions like Sortable, Queryable etc…

-          We can use the new feature Query Builder

-          Context can be focused to logged on user without writing code

Using the keyword filter: “Name of the user who runs the query

In SharePoint 2013 Search became a really centralized and powerful role. Many of this new features and Out-Of-The-Box stuff is also available in SharePoint 2013 Online. For example “All my documents” based on an Out-Of-The-Box Webpart.:

In the Office 365 / SharePoint Online BETA a basic Webpart category which is part of the on-premise BETA is missing. It’s the Search-Driven Content category:

Downloading this Webparts from an on-premise installation and upload those to SharePoint Online would work. But poorly the Webpart do not show any content. As you see in the screenshot the “search result preview” tab shows content covering the given properties. But saving Webpart itself keep empty after saving the settings. So I hope this function is coming up in the final version of SharePoint 2013 online (maybe the reason is that “continuous crawling” feature is not active for Content Sources in SharePoint Online…).

Let’s come now to External Data in SharePoint 2013 Online and what we can do in the context of Search and Search Driven Solutions.

External Data Data is not new in Office 365 / SharePoint Online. The good news is that we can now also use oData. For details have a look here: LINK

If have integrates this in my demo system:
Bad news are:
-          We cannot configure Content Sources in SharePoint Online Search Administration. So we cannot crawl this data. And therefore we cannot use them in Search / Search Driven Context.
All we can do is using the Tagging feature and the search for stuff which is tagged with a specific tag. Or we can use the External List as a lookup source. The lookup filed is the of cause part of the search index in the associated list field.
So hope that some features of the on-premise featureset will became part of the final version of new Office 365 / SharePoint Online.

Donnerstag, 2. August 2012

What’s new within SharePoint 2013 Search? – PART III

PART III: A look in the deep what’s behind the new Search functions like “Search Dictionaries”, “Query Builder”, “Query Client Type” etc.
(Concern that this is BETA stuff. Features and functions can be changed or shift until the final release!)

New / Updates Ranking Model functions:
Custom ranking models are managed through PowerShell using XML files as it was in SharePoint 2010. Ranking Model for a specific query can be selected at query time by setting the RankingModelId of the query; otherwise default is used.
The PowerShell cmdlet is: New-SPEnterpriseSearchRankingModel

For more details about the underlying XML schema have a look here: LINK

So this example shows all Ranking Models in my demo system. And you can see which default is:

You can use the configured Ranking Models for example in the Query Builder (details see below in the Query Builder Section):

Query Spelling Correction:
This function is hosted in the Termstore. We can now easy configure “Exclusion” and “Inclusion” Terms. Another big benefit is, that Terms configured in the “Inclusion” Termset also used for “Did you mean” functionality.
So this example showing in the Pic would result in searching for ”EI” and didn’t get any results the system will suggest “Did you mean ExpertsInside

Query Rules:
Query Rules are new in SharePoint 2013. It is a feature that gives us the option to tailor results in a very flexible way. Query Rules are set on Site Collection Level.

A Query Rule has 3 main parts:
-          Query Conditions
o   The conditions defined when and in which context the rule became active:
-          Query Action
o   In this section we can defined what happened if the rules matched. This is just a little bit similar to what we know as “Best Bets” or “Visual Best Bets” from SharePoint 2010, but much more powerful.
-          Publishing Options
o   These settings control when the rule can fire

Query Client Types:
Query Client Types are also new in SharePoint 2013 Search. At this time poorly not really more details are available on this new function. The idea behind is using the client the query is send from to do specific throttling etc: “Applications are prioritized by tiers. Top tier has the highest priority. When resource limit is reached, query throttling becomes ON, and search system will process the queries from top tier to bottom tier.”
Query Builder:
Query Builder is a tool in SharePoint 2013 Search which we can find in different places. For example the Query Builder is available in the “Result Sources” section (Result Sources are in the next Part IV – Admin Stuff) and also in the “Query Rule” section etc. Query Builder is available when we have the option to manipulate search query ore refine it. The Query Builder has 3 tabs:
-          Basic:
o   The Query is built here. You can use Keyword Query Language to add keyword filters and property filters. Keyword filters query the full-text search index.
This call for example will only show content where the “Author” is the logged on user.

-          Sorting:
o   Here we can manage how the results are sorted. We can use a Ranking Model ore use a Managed Property for that job

-          Test:
o   Test tab in the Query Builder is to evaluate the query that you built. You can experiment there to see whether changing variables would have the effect that you want on the query.

Stay tuned for the next parts in this series:
Part IV: Admin Stuff
Part V: Frontend Stuff