Enable People Search in SharePoint 2010

In my last post, I showed you how to create an Enterprise Search page that consisted of both “Site” and “People” searches. Depending on how you have setup your search within Central Administration, you may find the “People” search not returning any results.

Before we start, there are a few things you need to check. Firstly, ensure you have the necessary search services in working order. If you can carry out site searches you should be fine. Secondly, ensure the User Profile service has been setup sufficiently so that features such as MySites and Profile databases are working.

In a straight-forward world, you would think that completing the steps above would be enough for SharePoint 2010 to allow you to search users within your site. But sadly we don’t live in a straight-forward world.

Open Central Administration and navigate to “Manage Service Applications”. Within the list of services, select “Enterprise Search Service Application”.

Manage Services Enterprise Search

In the “Enterprise Search Service Application” page, click on the “Content Sources” link you’ll find situated in the left hand navigation and open/edit your “Local SharePoint Sites” content source.

Manage Content Sources

In the Start Addresses section, you will see a box with entries similar to what I have in my SharePoint intranet below..well almost the same:

Content Sources Start Addresses

You will notice the line: “sps3://my-intranet” which tells SharePoint to call a specific web service hosted at that web address. In this case, the URL is the same one I use to access my main site collection. When you have added the “sps3://” line yourself press the “OK” button to save your changes.

There is just one last step we need to carry out: re-indexing our search. Navigate back to the “Enterprise Search Service Application” page and start full crawl.

Manage Content Sources Recrawl

Once this has completed all your user profiles should now be searchable.

Enterprise People Search

Setup Enterprise Search Page in SharePoint 2010

Hooray! My first SharePoint 2010 blog post!

I have been lucky enough to start working on my first SharePoint 2010 project. As you may know, things have definitely moved on from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010. Every new release of SharePoint seems to be a vast improvement over its predecessor that benefits both the end users and developers. But just as things get better and better, you’ll find yourself falling into the common trap of trying to apply what you have learnt in SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010. I know I did.

A good example of this is having a search page that allows users to search “All Sites” or “People”, something we would see in a SharePoint 2007 search page as standard:

MOSS 2007 Search

I was surprised to find out that this wasn’t the search I would get by default. The SharePoint 2010 search is quite basic and out-of-the-box as you can see from the screenshot below:

Sharepoint 2010 Original Search

In order to get a search page that includes both Site and People search (or as Enterprise Search as SharePoint 2010 now calls it), you have to carry out an additional step that simply requires creating a new site. So, go to “Site Actions” and click on “New Site”. When the popup opens, select the “Search” category and select “Enterprise Search”. Enter a page and name and URL name and click “Create”.

Sharepoint 2010 New Site Enterprise Search

If everything goes well, you should see a search page which looks like something like this:

Sharepoint 2010 Enterprise Search Page

Cool! So you now have the ability to carry out Site and People searches. But you may find the People search will not work if you carried out the same mistake I did where I missed out a key setting in Central Administration. I will blog about that within the next few days. TO BE CONTINUED...

Post Updated: 30/01/2011 - Enable People Search in SharePoint 2010

At Last! Created My Own eBay Style Search Using Solrnet

Over the last few months I have been carrying out endless amounts of research and development to find a way to create my own eCommerce styled search similar to the likes of what eBay and Amazon use. Otherwise known as “Faceted Search”, whereby the search results are filtered through a series of facets belonging to your search criteria. Each facet typically corresponds to the possible values of a property common to a set of objects.

Sounds very difficult and complex doesn’t it! Smile Even to this very day, I am sure eBay and Amazon must use some kind of “magic” to get their search to work in a seamlessly and efficient format.

There are numerous search solutions out there that could help you achieve in making this type of search. From my experience I couldn’t find any low cost out-of-the-box solutions that would help me in making my own search. Majority of the search vendors were not only very expensive but they also required a quote to tailor make a solution for you.

In the early stages I tried expanding my Lucene.NET knowledge, but I couldn’t find a flexible way to introduce facets into my search. I must admit I am not exactly an expert in Lucene and this could have also had a part to play in failing miserably.

When I thought all was lost and there was no chance in hell in being able to figure this thing out, I luckily came across a few blog and StackOverflow posts by a guy called Mauricio Scheffer. Mauricio seems to be the brains behind the .NET client version of a search platform called: SolrNet. SolrNet is a  Solr client library built for the .NET Framework. This is one of the strengths of Solr. It can be consumed within other development platforms such as Python and Ruby.

SolrNet just happened to be an ideal solution to what I was looking for and with just over a weeks development I was able to build my own basic search, which looks something like this:

SolrNet1SolrNet2

As you can see from my screenshots, you can carry out a search by report type and/or global text search. In addition, the showing and hiding of the facet objects are purely dependent on the searches returned.

SolrNet is a very flexible package and I know just enough to implement the basics. But I was really surprised on how well the searches performed even with the most basic implementation. So I am looking forward to adding additional features as over the next few months and perfecting both my Solr search index and code.

I won’t be posting the code that I used to create my search since its quite a big project and tailor made specific to my database architecture. But here are a few links that I found useful to get me started in the world of SolrNet: