Basic Search tips

Search within a SharePoint can be a bit of a challenge as I found out the last few days, so I decided to make a nice overview about what you can do with ‘search’ and what can’t do (with some nice examples). So in a small series of what you can do this is the first, with some basic info about the search and its properties.

According to this [MSDN][1] article there are 3 values that can be passed in the URL to the search results webpart, in order to define your resultset. The first property: K, which should contain your searched value (it says you can only use one value for this property). Next is the V, that can be filled either with relevance or with date, and determines the sorting of the results. And the final value is start, which contains the starting page of the results.

Here it looks like the MSDN article is a bit out dated, since most of you knows the S property for the Scope.  So actually there are four properties (that I know of):

Property

Description

K

Specifies
the searched value

V

Specifies
the sorting of the result set

Start

Specifies
the starting page

S

Specifies
the scope in which will be searched

 

Luckily for us the K query string allows us to actually do a lot more than just passing the searched keyword. It also allows the use of and + for excluding or including additional terms.

Property

Description


Excludes
a term

+

Includes
a term

 

Not only does the K property allows you to pass search words, it also allows you to use MetaDataPropperties, (that will be discusses in the next post).

The sorting of a result set  is something where SharePoint lacks the properties you want it to have, you can’t sort on date / name, so you actually have to find yourself a nice hack (that will be discussed in the 3th post).

The starting page is something I have never used before, that part is completely handled by your paging control.

The Scope property however is something that you will learn to love, it allows you to create scopes, and those will help you create a better result set. For instance you have a list where you store all your orders, and you want to search that. Scopes allow you to specify the result set. Not only by location but with ANY!  MetaDataPropperty that has it enabled.

So the next post will be all about MetaDataPropperties, that will allow you to search not only the common used properties, but everything you want. (it will also explain how you can use custom properties in your search results).