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SharePoint 2013 Enterprise Search Configuration

July 25, 2015

In just 14 easy steps, you too can configure “SharePoint 2013 for a SharePoint 2013” site. Now this is not enterprise search, but when it comes to Microsoft and information access, trivialities just don’t matter.

The screenshots show what options to select. There is no explanation in Step 4 for what to do if you click “Basic Search Center” instead of “Enterprise Search Center.” A real MSFT lover will know the difference between “basic” and “enterprise” for a SharePoint site.

Follow the clicks to Step 9. Note that under the category search one selects “Search Settings”, not “Search and offline availability.” Again the clarity is astounding.

Cut and paste your way to Step 13 where you configure search navigation. Just click “everything” and presumably the URL, the description, and the link will be locked and loaded. And if not? Well, there will be no errors, gentle reader.

The coup de grace is Step 14. Here’s the instruction which is crystal clear:

Just go and check “Use the same results page settings as my parent” is selected from the subsite search site settings.”

You are good to go—directly to a consulting firm specializing in installing a third party search system into your SharePoint solution. Sorry, but that approach usually works. The Fast Search thing from the mid 1990s? Not exactly flawless in my experience. Configuration files are still nestled deep in the innards but the graphical interface may not get you where you need to be.

Stephen E Arnold, July 25, 2015

What We Know About SharePoint 2016

July 23, 2015

Everyone is vying for a first look at the upcoming SharePoint 2016 release. In reality those details are just now starting to roll in, so little has been known until recently. The first true reveal came from Bill Baer at this spring’s Microsoft Ignite event. CIO distills Baer’s findings down into their article, “SharePoint 2016: What Do We Know?

The article says:

“The session on SharePoint 2016 was presented by Bill Baer, the head of SharePoint at Microsoft. This was the public’s first opportunity to learn what exactly would be in this version of the product, what sorts of changes and improvements have been made, and other things to expect as we look toward the product’s release and general availability in the first quarter of next year. Here’s what we know after streaming Baer’s full presentation.”

The article goes on to discuss cloud integration, migration, upgrades, and what all of this may point to for the future of SharePoint. In order to stay up to date on the latest news, stay tuned to, in particular the dedicated SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of all things search, and his work on SharePoint gives interested parties a lot of information at a glance.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 23, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Disable Annoying Windows Web Search

July 23, 2015

In another attempt to Apple, Microsoft allows users to search not only their computer’s hard drive, but also the Web at the same time.  This is a direct copy of Apple OS’s Spotlight Search, but unlike Apple, Windows’s increased search parameters are annoying. Windows users can disable this supposed “helpful” feature and GHacks has the directions to do it: “How To Disable Web Search In Windows 10’s Start Menu.”

Apple’s Spotlight Search does pretty much the same thing, but it categorizes results into organized categories and does not search the entire Web, only Wikipedia, iTunes, and preselected search engines.  Microsoft has the tendency to go overboard and that usually equals slow response time.  The article mentions the Windows 10 search results are also:

“I will never use the search for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t need it there as I want local files and settings to be returned exclusively when I run a search on Windows 10. Second, the suggestions are too generic most of the time and third, since a browser is open all the time on my system, I can run a search using it as well without having to add another step to the process.”

The good news is that the Web search feature can be disabled, but it is not available to all users.  Does that surprise you?  Microsoft has the tendency to release OS’s without fully fixing all the bugs.  Windows 10 appears to be better than prior releases, but little bugs like this make it annoying.

Whitney Grace, July 23, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Microsoft Takes SharePoint Criticism Seriously

July 16, 2015

Organizations are reaching the point where a shift toward mobile productivity and adoption must take place; therefore, their enterprise solution must follow suit. While Office 365 adoption has soared in light of the realization, Microsoft still has work to do in order to give users the experience that they demand from a mobile and social heavy platform. ComputerWorld goes into more details with their article, “Onus on Microsoft as SharePoint and OneDrive Roadmaps Reach Crossroads.”

The article states Microsoft’s current progress and future goals:

“With the advent of SharePoint Server 2016 (public beta expected 4Q 2015, with general availability 2Q 2016), Edwards believes Microsoft is placing renewed focus on file management, content management, sites, and portals. Going forward, Redmond claims it will also continue to develop the hybrid capabilities of SharePoint, recognizing that hybrid deployments are a steady state for many large organizations, and not just a temporary position to enable migration to the cloud.”

Few users chose to adopt the opportunities offered by Office 365 and SharePoint 2013, so Microsoft has to make SharePoint Server 2016 look like a new, enticing offering worthy of being taken seriously. So far, they have done a good job of building up some hype and attention. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and he has been covering the news surrounding the release on Additionally, his dedicated SharePoint feed makes it easy to catch the latest news, tips, and tricks at a glance.
Emily Rae Aldridge, July 16, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Kashman to Host Session at SharePoint Fest Seattle

July 14, 2015

Mark Kashman, Senior Product Manager at Microsoft, will deliver a presentation at the upcoming SharePoint Fest Seattle in August. All eyes remain peeled for any news about the new SharePoint Server 2016 release, so his talk entitled, “SharePoint at the Core of Reinventing Productivity,” should be well watched. Benzinga gives a sneak peek with their article, “Microsoft’s Mark Kashman to Deliver Session at SharePoint Fest Seattle.”

The article begins:

“Mark Kashman will deliver a session at SharePoint Fest Seattle on August 19, 2015. His session will be held at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. SharePoint Fest is a two-day training conference (plus an optional day of workshops) that will have over 70 sessions spread across multiple tracks that brings together SharePoint enthusiasts and practitioners with many of the leading SharePoint experts and solution providers in the country.”

Stephen E. Arnold is also keeping an eye out for the latest news surrounding SharePoint and its upcoming release. His Web service efficiently synthesizes and summarizes essential tips, tricks, and news surrounding all things search, including SharePoint. The dedicated SharePoint feed can save users time by serving as a one-stop-shop for the most pertinent pieces for users and managers alike.
Emily Rae Aldridge, July 14, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Cloud is Featured in SharePoint 2016

July 9, 2015

Users are eager to learn all they can about the upcoming release of SharePoint Server 2016. Mark Kashman recently gave a presentation and additional information which is covered in the Redmond Channel Partner article, “Microsoft: Cloud Will Play Prominent Role in SharePoint 2016.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft recently detailed its vision for SharePoint Server 2016, which appears to be very cloud-centric. Microsoft is planning a beta release of the new SharePoint Server 2016 by the end of this year, with final product release planned for Q2 2016. Mark Kashman, a senior product manager at Microsoft on the SharePoint team, gave more details about Microsoft’s plans for the server during a June 17 presentation at the SPBiz Conference titled ‘SharePoint Vision and Roadmap.’”

Users are still waiting to hear how this “cloud-centric” approach affects the overall usability of the product. As more details become available, stay tuned to for the highlights. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search, and his distillation of SharePoint new, tips, and tricks on his dedicated SharePoint feed is a way for users to stay on top of the changes without a huge investment in time.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 9, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


The Bing Listicle: Bing Search Strategy

July 8, 2015

I noted a slide show designed to pump up page views for eWeek. Navigate to “What the Bing Search Engine Brings to Microsoft’s Web Strategy.” Prepare to be patient because the code used to display the content makes life interesting.

Strategy means the big picture. Tactics means changing the color of an item in the picture. Bing has been an interesting search engine. The team has had a bit of a revolving door. The spin of the door has sucked in Australian and Chinese search wizards. The Bing thing sold its map “business.” The Bing thing cut a deal with AOL to provide search and ads, a sure fire combination for improved relevance in search results.

The listicle hits a number of strategic points. I want to comment on three. Visit the original listicle for the remaining strategic gems.

Strategic Move 1: Apple and Microsoft have a search partnership. Now Apple is rumored to be poking around in the Web search space. The listicle asserts that “Apple, Microsoft Form Search Partnership.” I find this interesting. It may be tactical for Apple and strategic for Microsoft. If Apple creates a semi workable search system, will Apple continue to embrace the besieged Microsoft? My money is on Apple for a deal that helps out Apple until the deal no longer helps out Apple.

Strategic Move 2: Bing offers a rewards program. This is pay to play. If lots of people use rewards, will Microsoft find the offer untenable. My hunch is that this Rewards thing is like the annoying and now-dead Scroogle: A desperate tactic, not a strategic move.

Strategic Move 3: Bing is “handy on Microsoft hardware.” Okay, but I use Apple computers. The notion that Bing is baked into Windows 10 and Windows hardware seems to make sense. But I turn off the crazy Microsoft search functions and rely on third party tools. The strategic move is great for Microsoft internal pitches. The tactic is one that may annoy some folks who use Windows hardware and is essentially another tactic to make Bing zing. If Bing is so wonderful, what’s Microsoft doing with Fast Search technology and the Delve search? I would conclude there is no search strategy at Microsoft.

Stephen E Arnold, July 8, 2015

SharePoint 2016 to Feature Deeply Ingrained Cloud Services

July 7, 2015

As additional details continue to be released, the SharePoint community speculates about the role of the cloud in the upcoming 2016 version. According to the GCN article, “SharePoint 2016 Built on Cloud Foundation,” cloud will play a central role.

Read all the details in the article, which begins:

“When SharePoint Server 2016 is released next year, Microsoft’s cloud services will be deeply ingrained, creating a more unified end user experience across components. ‘Everything we’re doing in Office 365 inspires the [SharePoint Server] product going forward, and you’ll see this cadence continuing,’ said Mark Kashman, a senior product manager at Microsoft on the SharePoint team.”

It sounds like users may have a steeper learning curve on this upcoming version, but then the pace may be set for the next several years. What will be interesting to see is whether users find the cloud focus to be intuitive, or if it is a hindrance, particularly for those who have voiced a preference for on-premises capabilities to continue. Microsoft is definitely trying to walk the line and be all things to all people, but then that has always been both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and he knows the strengths and weaknesses well. His Web service,, features a dedicated SharePoint feed, and is a great resource for users who need to stay up to speed without a huge investment in research time.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 7, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Bing Game: Search Has to Be Fun, Fun, Fun

July 6, 2015

Navigate to “Microsoft Put a Pong Game in Its Bing Search Engine.” Yep, when I run a query I definitely want to distract myself with a quick video game session. Doesn’t everyone 70 years old have this compelling need to lose focus and forget why one visited a search engine in the first place. No wonder Bing is just so darned wonderful. Just the other day I was looking for information about the Citadel exploit from 2011, and I ended up playing Pong. Wow, as I recall, the experience was really helpful to my work.

The write up states;

People are discovering that if you search for “pong” on the Bing site, the search results include a playable version of one of the first video games ever made. The game allows the classic digital paddles to be moved up and down with a mouse or keyboard on the PC, or via fingers on touch screen.

Let’s have more distractions to prevent me from experiencing incomplete and irrelevant results to my queries.

Stephen E Arnold, July 6, 2015

Software Market Begs for Integration Issue Relief

July 2, 2015

A recent report proves what many users already know: integrating an existing CMS with new and emerging software solutions is difficult. As quickly as software emerges and changes, users are finding that hulking overgrown CMS solutions are lagging behind in terms of agility. SharePoint is no stranger to this criticism. Business Solutions offers more details in their article, “ISVs: Study Shows Microsoft SharePoint Is Open To Disruption.”

A report from Software Advice surveyed employees that use content management systems (CMS) on a daily basis and found 48 percent had considerable problems integrating their CMS with their other software solutions. The findings mirror a recent AIIM report that found only 11 percent of companies experienced successful Microsoft SharePoint implementation . . . The results of this report indicate that the CMS market is ripe for disruption if a software vendor could solve the integration issues typically associated with SharePoint.”

No doubt, Microsoft understands the concerns and perceived threats, and will attempt to solve some of the issue with the upcoming release of SharePoint Server 2016. However, the fact remains that SharePoint is a big ship to turn, and change will not be dramatic or happen overnight. In the meantime, stay on top of the latest news for tips, tricks, and third-party solutions that may ease some of the pain. Look to Stephen E. Arnold and his SharePoint feed on in order to stay in touch without a huge investment in time.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 2, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

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