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.