SharePoint 2010 Search
Excerpt by John Underwood
The need for enterprise search is a key driver for implementations of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Search. The out-of-the-box SharePoint Server search features are useful, but getting the most benefit from SharePoint Server search requires configuration and customization. The SharePoint Server object model makes it possible for application developers to implement powerful custom functionality, but in many cases you can meet requirements by configuring a site in the browser.
This chapter focuses on customization of search by using the out-of-the-box features. SharePoint Server comes with two search site definitions you can use as a basis: Basic Search Center and Enterprise Search Center. Both site definitions create pages that contain Search web parts. You can use these web parts to extend sites based on the site definitions. You can also use them to create custom search pages in sites based on any site definition simply by enabling the correct set of features. SharePoint Server does not simply provide the capability to perform searches. It also enables you to tune and improve your search results to provide the most relevant information to your users.
When you consider the potential reduction in the cost of time spent looking for information and the cost of duplicated effort, it is easy to understand why customizing search is worthwhile. To this end, SharePoint Server includes reporting and optimization tools for search. With this information, you can define different types of search by defining search scopes. For example, you can create a scope to support search pages that enable users to find people within a geographic location or find documents of a particular type. SharePoint 2010 also adds a new search feature knows as refiners. Refiners, and the accompanying Refinement Panel Web Part, provide users with a quick look at the kinds of matches they are getting.
It also provides a meaningful way for users to whittle down the results by key areas such as document type, author, and origin of the search result. You can also promote specific content based on its importance or relevance. You can specify the "best bets" for searches based on specific keywords. You can improve the quality of your keywords and best bets based on what you learn by analyzing the site's usage reports.
Basic Search Center
As the name implies, the Basic Search Center site template provides basic search functionality. A new site based on this template has several applications pages, including:
- default.aspx for entering search queries.
- results.aspx for showing search results.
Basic Search Center supports minimal customization, and does not permit the addition of new pages. Basic Search Center works with all versions of SharePoint 2010. (For a comparison of search capabilities in versions of SharePoint 2010 visit http://go.appdev.com/?id=SXEG).
Enterprise Search Center
The Enterprise Search Center (formerly known as Search Center with Tabs) is designed to provide greater scalability and customization than that Basic Search Center template. Enterprise Search Center is available with SharePoint Server 2010 Standard and Enterprise editions. In order to use the Enterprise Search Center, the SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection feature and SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature must be enabled (see Figure below).
The Figure above. Required features for using Enterprise Search Center. When it comes to customization, there are two significant differences between Basic Search Center and Enterprise Search Center. First, Enterprise Search Center includes a Pages library where you can create, customize, and publish search pages. Second, Enterprise Search Center includes the ability to provide tabbed search pages. The out-of-box template includes tabs for All Sites and People. You may modify the tab to include custom pages, scopes, etc.
This post is an excerpt from the online courseware for our Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Enterprise Content Management course written by expert John Underwood.