Would you ever invest weeks of work into a project, and when finished throw all of the documents away with the intention of just rewriting them if you ever needed them in the future? Of course not. How about documenting steps of a process and then deleting it so no one can ever find it? That’s senseless too.
I’ll be delivering a FREE webinar for Critical Path Training next Thursday, June 14. The topic will be the Developer’s Approach to Search Applications. Space is limited, but be sure to register since they will be sending a link to the recording to everyone who registers for the webinar.
In the SharePoint 2010 Administrators Survival Camp that I teach for Critical Path Training I teach a module on PowerShell (and a whole bunch of tips and tricks along the way). One of the tips that I teach is to use the Resources list in Central Administration to create links to the most often used service applications. While teaching the module this month I began creating a Farm Build script based on Gary Lapointe’s Farm-SPBuild script from ISC London. The script creates the Farm that the student creates manually on the first day of class. I went on to add the following script to create the links to my “favorite” web apps.
I am really enjoying learning about Responsive Web Design and happily applying this to my current client. There is a whole bunch of information available all over the web. Companies like Template Monster have begun to roll out some beautiful examples of templates focused on the concept. (They have some other cool free HTML5 designs too, they are not responsive though.) In doing my research I found Kyle Schaeffer’s site and his V5 Responsive Master. I like the clean look, and as a starting page, it provides a good start. As a “search guy” the problem I find with most (if not all) Master Pages provided on the Web is that none that I have found address the Search Center. The authors stop short of a “complete branding solution” by simply rendering a home page and a few publishing pages. (Many I have found will not even render the other default publishing pages like Press Releases.) I don’t mean to be critical of Kyle’s work, I think he did a great job, I mean to call attention to the failure of designers in general who ignore (or just don’t know SharePoint well enough to pay attention to) the Search Center.
SharePoint Saturday Austin was terrific! I am grateful for all the speakers that traveled to Austin as well as the attendees (some from as far away as Nebraska!) that came and made it a wonderful collaborative and educational day. We could not have done it without the sponsors and volunteers. All in all an amazing show for our first attempt!
I recently received a question from a client who has been working on improving the quality of their search results. They are crawling their non-Microsoft CMS with SharePoint and wanted to ensure that the Keywords that they entered in the CMS and were finally rendered in the Web pages, would be findable in the search center. The keywords were emitted as META tags in the page <meta name="keywords" content="Elephant,Giraffe,Lion" />. After crawling the content a search for “Elephant” failed to return the page.
This is a demo I often do when asked about how I perform Search Center XSL changes to improve the SharePoint Search Center Search Core Results Web part display. This information is buried in a few of my other posts so I thought I’d call it out all by itself for clarity. I usually perform these steps right after I create a new Search Results page and corresponding tab in the process of customizing the tabbed Search Center as I explain in the post Getting Started with Search Results. I perform these steps for many reasons that I detail in my No Code Search Center Customizations lecture. The primary reasons are:
As I have taught, before a document property can be used in search results, it must be promoted to a Managed Property. Many properties are already managed properties out of the box. On several recent SharePoint 2010 Search projects I have used third party iFilters to solve specific document indexing challenges and needed to work extensively with Crawled Properties. For example:
Some of my favorite demonstrations are about how to enhance the Search Results pages in SharePoint. I feel that presenting “actionable” search results can make the difference between a good search center and a great search experience. I am working on some new demos and decided that I need to commit the fundamentals to my blog so that my audience has the necessary resources to apply the guidance from my presentations.