SharePoint 2010 Search indexing – getting the search to work after install


SharePoint is a complicated application, at times I get frustrated but other times I get impressed by the depth and capabilities of the system. This week I had to research and handle two key aspects of SharePoint 2010

1) Tagging

2) Search Results

I was really frustrated to realised during a client demo that the search results were not working on a fresh install of SharePoint 2010, after a little bit of investigation  I realised that it was a simple action of indexing the contents in SharePoint 2010 and setting an Indexing Schedule.

This is how it is done

Navigate to CA, Service Applications, Search. You will see a link to your Content Sources. If you edit that it will give you the opportunity to setup a schedule for both Full and Incremental indexing. You can kick off a full drawl, once completed you will have results if everything is configured correctly.

Tagging is one of the Social Software features that has been out there for some time but from my experience very few people use it and find it useful. From my understanding its more the issue of not fully understanding how tagging can support findability and serendipity rather than the feature itself. Tagging is one of the many ways that search becomes a richer experience.

SharePoint puts a very interesting twist to tagging by distributing it into

1) Managed Terms

2) Enterprise Keywords

Managed Terms are how you manage enterprise Taxonomies using Term Sets. These allow key features like hierarchies and moderation ( Make the use of Terms compulsory for specific content columns )

Folksonomies  are unstructured and managed using Enterprise keywords.

Distribution of tagging into these key concepts allows a much richer use of tagging and brings home tagging to the enterprise.  Please read Managing Metadata in SharePoint 2010 to get a detailed view of this SharePoint 2010 feature .

Some SharePoint 2010 findings


While going through some business requirement analysis for SharePoint 2010 I came across these useful resources that I think are worth sharing as they focus on specific topic’s under consideration.

Blog Customization

Display recent changes
SharePoint 2010 profile customisation and integration with other systems

Authentication methods

IBM websphere integration
Book

Sending update Notifications to Email Distribution group

It is possible to send document updates to members of a email distribution list
in two main ways
1) Alerts for the documents and lists, and putting the distribution list and the to source
2) Create a work flow and automate it to send out updates to a distribution list
“Instead of Security Groups, it’s possible to just have some custom SharePoint groups with users in them, and this could be managed by the site admin or individual owners of each group could be given control of their respective groups.  These groups could be referenced in an SPD workflow based off metadata within the submitted doc.  So, let’s say someone submits a doc and selects “Finance” in a department dropdown.  The workflow would kick off, read the Finance metadata from the Department field, and then send the email to the SharePoint Group that you specify for any Finance-related doc.  You’d have to do your mapping in SPD with conditions (If Finance, then send email to Finance Leadership Team).  This is one way to do it without code, but there are other ways.  It just depends on the exact requirements and tools available.”
It is also possible to Sync SharePoint AD Groups with Distributionlist, however not vise versa. http://prequest01.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/send-email-to-all-users-of-a-sharepoint-group/
It is also possible to send out emails to Documents and Lists within SharePoint http://www.sharepointgeoff.com/scblogspace/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=9
SharePoint 2010 browser and office compatibility

 

 

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Changing External URL to SharePoint 2010 (Alternate Access Mapping)


I installed the public demo of SharePoint 2010 right after its release on a Virtual box based Windows 2008 64 bit install. Although the documentation suggests that one needs at least 4 GB of memory but I am running this install on a VM configuration of around 2 GB and it is working smooth for me.

For a client demo we released that some URLs for the external access to the SharePoint install were being redirected to the internal URL, hence those pages did not work for external access. After 5 minutes of effort I found out that it’s a very simple configuration in the central administration at Central Administration – > Alternate Access Mapping, that allows one to provide an external facing URL to the SharePoint install.

The main point to note over here, is that my experience with SharePoint 2010 has been a very pleasant one, its relatively easy to find what you are looking for, and over all look and feel of not only the front end but admin section has been simplified, which provides an excellent user experience.