Common stuff about Search Driven Applications and a solution
proposal with Office 365 / SharePoint Online.
You can build Search Driven Applications in several different ways
and based on different techniques. One of the easiest is using the
Query Object Model from the SharePoint Search to create "Fixed
Keyword Queries". For example this query shows all SharePoint sites
which you have access to:
contentclass: STS_Site contentclass:STS_Web
For more Details have a look at the BlogPost from Laura Rogers:
But the "magic" within Search Driven Solution is aggregating some
similar crawled properties together in one managed property. See
Example: you have two lists in your SharePoint farm which both
contains information about customers. Because of some historical
reasons, maybe migration from SharePoint 2007 or merging from other
systems, these are both independent and different fields in
different SharePoint List. Merging this two Crawled Property
together in one Managed Property called for example
"cKunde" allowed you querying both fields with one call
(for example: cKunde:AOL - you will get results
from both list). Pooling Crawled Properties in Managed Properties
as shown in the next picture is one of the technical basics for
Search Driven Application:
Pooling properties is no problem in a SharePoint on premise
installation. But with Office 365 / SharePoint Online we ran in
some problems. The main problem is that we cannot configure the
Search Service Application in Office 365 / SharePoint Online. So we
are not able to do the merge from Crawled to Managed Properties,
and without Managed Properties we are not able to query the content
for specific issues. We can of cause use the given default Managed
Properties like "Author, Filetype, Name etc." and
build Search Driven Solutions based on them. The constrain here is
that we cannot edit them free as we need. The Managed Property
"Filetype" for example is filed by the system with
the given value. So we have to use some "tricks" to build Search
Driven Application with Office 365 / SharePoint Online.
My solution for this problem is using the tagging feature in
SharePoint 2010. Within this feature we are able to tag any content
with special and individual information that can later be used to
aggregate it under this scope or in the mix with other tags /
scopes. Using the feature: "Metadata Publishing -> Save metadata
on this list as social tags" allowed us to force users to fill in
metadata in keyword fields or set default values which will then be
automatically published as a social tag.
Based on this there are several ways to build Search Driven
There is a Crawled Property called SocialTagId
that can now be used to query for a special tag and so it can be
used to build a search driven webpart.
Example search query:
This Managed Property can also be used with standard search syntax
for building AND / OR queries and be mixed with other search
SocialTagId:"25dee478-f426-4dc1-9d25-340e9ecce093" - shows any
content which is tagged with one of the given tags behind this
Some points to attend:
• The result is just the same you get when you navigate to the Tag
Profile page for a special tag.
• Benefit is that you can use the resultset coming from the search
in a separate webpart und customize the style etc. in an easy
• We are not able to do a fuzzy search within this
• You have to find out the SocialTagId which depends to your tag.
This is not really a problem. To do these navigate to the Tag
Profile, select "To find content related to '%tag%' in search,
please click here." The result is a search with the Managed
Property "SocialTagId" and the given ID for the
To Customize those Search Result using SharePoint Designer and
XSLT follow the steps described by Laura Rogers:
Webcast with hands on system demos: http://youtu.be/6zluXiYBW74
Summary: we can build search driven solutions
based on the tagging feature in Office 365 / SharePoint Online.
Within advanced Document Library and List features like
"Metadata Publishing" we can increase the usability and
the user experience for adding this kind of information.
To aggregate any content tagged with special tags we can use the
Managed Property SocialTagId.
"Nicki Borell (http://nbsharepointtalk.blogspot.com
) is an evangelist & consultant in the Experts Inside team.
He has worked for more than 9 years in Microsoft enterprise
environments and also as a trainer and consultant for the
SharePoint and SQL Server products. His expertise extendes from
technical consulting all the way to project management, with his
core competencies covering KMU, enterprise environments and
government data management. Nicki is Microsoft Certified System
Engineer (MCSE), Database Administrator (MCBA), IT Professional
(MCITP) and Trainer (MCT)."
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