SharePoint 2013 Offers Improvements in Search

January 10, 2013

An overall architecture for SharePoint 2013 Search can be found on the Search Technologies’ Web site.

As new releases tend to do, SharePoint 2013 has made some tweaks that users would do well to explore, we learn in “Search Engine Changes in SharePoint 2013” from iT Pro. SharePoint consultant Veena Sarda details the search-related changes and presents them in a handy chart.

The first thing to note is that FAST Search has now been worked into the SharePoint code base. That means that FAST capabilities like metadata extraction, visual search, and advanced linguistics are now part of the package. Content and analytics processors have been added to the logical architecture, and a specialized Search Administrator now manages these and other search-related components. Also new is a dedicated analysis engine, which performs both search and usage analytics.

Crawling has been improved; it is now possible to crawl http sites anonymously, and the time for the  index to merge and present those results has been dramatically shortened. Results rendering has been moved from the server to the client side. Document parsing is now much more refined, relying on a set of new parsing features, rather than on file extensions to do the job.

Other welcome improvements affect the user experience. The UI has been revamped to accommodate the new features, with a re-design based on nested layout templates defined in JavaScript and HTML. This change allows for easier extensibility. Furthermore, end users now have an easier time of it; the write-up notes that the platform now provides:

“Direct access to the most granular information inside of sites and documents, and then enables users to act on the results without having to leave the results page. Every search box in every team site offers full access to enterprise-wide search, people search, and other specialized search experiences in addition to the traditional scoped site search.”

Part of this simplified workflow is the new Hover feature, which presents a visual preview of sites, documents, and conversations at the pause of a mouse.

A few more search-related improvements: Authors are identified as experts based on document content, where before they were identified by My Site profiles. People Search (which used to be independent of document search) has been integrated with the core results and can be targeted by name, location, phone number, and other properties.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy shifts is the new Query Rules feature. SharePoint 2010 only allows for simple queries—one query, one set of results. Sarda writes:

“Query Rules are a new feature in SharePoint 13 that help act upon the ‘intent’ of a query – Query Rules are composed of three top level elements: Query Conditions (i.e. matching rules), Query Actions (i.e. what do you do when you find a match), Publishing Options (i.e. when should this rule be active). Query Rules allows to have search requests from a user trigger multiple queries and multiple result sets.”

A welcome addition. For more information on SharePoint 2013, see the “brief functional walk-through” posted at Search Technologies. It contains, among other things, an easy-to-understand flow chart. The SharePoint experts there also promise to post future updates at that link.

Search Technologies leverages search engines to provide business advantages to their clients. With over twenty years of experience in the field, the company asserts that it is the largest IT services company dedicated to search engine implementation, consulting, and managed services. For information on the firm’s SharePoint 2013 Search Services, visit www.searchtechnologies.com. Search Technologies is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.

Cynthia Murrell, January 10, 2013

Comments

One Response to “SharePoint 2013 Offers Improvements in Search”

  1. ConsultRamy on January 10th, 2013 1:39 am

    RT @BeyondSearch: SharePoint 2013 Offers Improvements in Search: http://t.co/uiEPp00Y #search