Show Search Results on Any Page in SharePoint 2010

SharePoint users and site owners often think of search results as a stand-alone page but it’s also a great way to aggregate content across different sites, site collections and even web applications that share the same search index without the limitations and performance issues associated with querying SharePoint lists and document libraries directly. In this blog post I’ll explain how to use the out-of-the-box Search Core Results web part to show search results on virtually any SharePoint 2010 page. We’ll use the Fixed Keyword Query property of the web part to define the search query to be executed automatically whenever a user visits the page.

First of all, we need to edit a page and add a Search Core Results web part to it:

Next, let’s edit the web part and set the Fixed Keyword Query property to the desired search query:

Then, set the Location web part property to the configure where the search results will be coming from. In this case I use FAST Search:

And that’s it, just save your changes, refresh the page and you’ll see the expected search results right on the page:

The Search Core Results web part is very flexible and exposes many different properties that allow you to customize what information is displayed and how the search results will appear on the page so I highly recommend spending some time to familiarize yourself with the customization options available out-of-the-box and require no custom web part development efforts.

Adding a Custom Property Search Refiner in SharePoint 2010

In the previous blog post Extending FAST Search Processing Pipeline we created a new custom managed property called Project and extended the FAST Search processing pipeline to populate the property with values. In this article we’ll give users the ability to refine results based on the new property values by adding a new refiner to the search results page in the search center.

First we’ll navigate to the results.aspx page by submitting a search query.

Next we need to Edit the page and bring up the Refinement Panel properties.

The properties we are interested in are the Filter Category Definition and Use Default Configuration. Go ahead and copy the Filter Category Definition property content into your favorite text editor. Insert the following element into the original xml content. Note that the managed property name set in the MappedProperty attribute must be in all lower case letters.

<Category Title="Project" Description="Project number" Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator" MetadataThreshold="1" NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4" MaxNumberOfFilters="20" ShowMoreLink="True" MappedProperty="project" MoreLinkText="show more" LessLinkText="show fewer" ShowCounts="Count" />

Then make sure to uncheck the Use Default Configuration checkbox, hit Apply to submit the web part changes and Save the page. You should see similar results as in the screenshot below:

Now the users have the ability to easily refine search results by Project without having to go back and add any additional metadata to existing SharePoint content – the Project property values are generated dynamically based on the location of the document within SharePoint site hierarchy by the custom processing pipeline module implemented in the earlier blog post.

Search and Claims-Based Authentication in SharePoint 2010

In order to enable crawling for web applications configured with claims-based authentication in SharePoint 2010, it is required that Windows Authentication is enabled for at least one Zone. In cases when Forms Based Authentication or a Trusted Identity Provider is configured for the Default Zone, it is a common practice to extend the web application and enable Windows Authentication for the extended zone. Search is then setup to crawl the extended zone url. There’s a couple of issues with crawling a non-default zone though:

  1. Documents in the index are tagged with the extended zone urls so the search results in the Search Center point to that location rather than to the default zone
  2. Contextual search (This Site) doesn’t work as SharePoint appends the default zone url filter to the search query

Those may sound like major obstacles but it turns out there’s a simple solution, although it does require some manual configuration in Central Administration. The following steps apply to both SharePoint 2010 Search and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.

In Central Admin, navigate to Manage Service Applications -> Search Service Application (FAST Search Connector for FS4SP), then click on Server Name Mappings within the Crawling section.

Now add a new mapping for each non-default zone url being crawled. Enter the extended zone url in the “Address in index” field and the default zone url in the “Address in search results” field.

Once all server name mappings are in place, complete a full content crawl and that’s it! Your search results will show correct urls in the Search Center and contextual search will work properly.