Feb 6, 2013

Essential Facts About Sharepoint Search

SharePoint is one of the more innovative products that Microsoft has developed over the last decade. It is a powerful web-based framework that provides options for collaboration, document management and application delivery.

It has been used as the basis for enterprise intranets for some of the largest companies in the world. It also provides a secure interface for accessing computer services from a remote location. 

One simple feature that is now included with the platform is the SharePoint search option. End users can use the search functionality to find information quickly within the system. Additionally, administrators have the ability to leverage several features to customize how searches are performed and presented.

Exterior Site Integration

The search feature of SharePoint provides businesses with the ability to index and locate documents based on simple words or other criteria. This core functionality is enhanced by the inclusion of an exterior site search feature. This feature allows administrators to define one or more website outside of the intranet that will be accessed when a search is performed. These could be exterior central data repositories for a company or websites maintained by competitors. Employees can draw information from several relevant sources through a single uncomplicated search regardless of the location of the data.

People Search

SharePoint indexes and tracks the employees in a company in real-time. This search feature goes through the list of registered users within the company and provides matches to the name or terms that were entered. People search has several advanced features as well. Nearly any information can be used to narrow down search results or return collections of users. This includes online status, skillsets or titles. People search is very useful when assembling teams for some of the collaborative modules in SharePoint. It also saves employees time that might otherwise be wasted searching for individual co-workers or using non-specific hunt groups.

Flexible Search Tokens

Part of the effectiveness of SharePoint search software is the number of tokens and search options that are accepted. The engine accepts inclusive and exclusive tokens as well as wildcards and other features. This gives every user the ability to create highly specific or very broad search terms depending on what is needed. Users who are attempting to search thousands of documents can efficiently find the exact information required in seconds. SharePoint also has the capability to scan documents in a wide range of formats so that there is no need to convert files just for indexing purposes.

Metadata Searches

SharePoint uses several criteria in order to index the files in a system. This includes the filename, date, size and internal references. A very dynamic feature allows the addition of metadata in most file types that support the tags. Metadata is a sequence of key-value pairs that make it possible to define custom search terms for a file. Metadata fields can be attached to documents, images or multimedia files like videos. This allows for the indexing of non-textual files. Entire image libraries, multimedia training libraries or even recorded calls can be searched and retrieved as easily as any text document.

Ken Miller is an avid technology blogger who enjoys writing about SharePoint search software.