Online Training On SharePoint
                      

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Federated Search in SharePoint 2010 - Part 1

There are new set of capablities added in SharePoint 2010 for Federated Search. Before diving into that lets try to understand what is Federated Search. Federated Search is a way to get data from different sources to create single search experience in SharePoint. Though it is very simple to do yet very powerful. With this we can display the data from several sources without really indexing them. So as an example with Federated search we can display results from Bing or Google in our SharePoint site without doing much effort. Federated Search is based upon OpenSearch which is a standard used in Search.

Federated Search is helpfil in the scenario where the data is stored in multiple repositories and we can not crawl this data to create our own index. There is a OOB web part called Federated Results given in SharePoint which can be used to display the Federated results from various Locations. Now lets try to use this web part and display results from Bing in our SharePoint pages. Bing will show the results based on the query given by the user in search text box. First we need to add this web part to our page. Once this Web Part is added we need to select the Location. Locations helps to configure the federated results. There are some preconfigured locations are there and one of this location we will be using to show results from Bing. We can also create our own locations. We will do this in Part 2 of this post on Creating Locations for Federated Search in SharePoint.

To show the results from Bing on SharePoint pages select Interent Search Results as Location.

This is all we need to do to show the results. Now based on the search keyword the results will be shown in the Federated Results Web Part. I am doing a search on SharePoint and the top 3 results are returned from Bing as well other than the results along the results from SharePoint.

We can change some settings through this web part like number of results which we want to show and the number of characters in the description. We can also provide Fixed Keyword Query. With this we can hardcode the query which will be passed to the Bing search engine and result will be returned always for with this keyword.
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