This is a 3rd post in our present series, a set of commentary on a webinar, Webinar – SharePoint 2010 Search. Prior to moving forward on Robert Piddocke’s presentation, it’s worth spending a few moments to discuss how the search engine for SharePoint Online, via Office 365, is configured with regard to file types.
We checked our own Office 365 E3 plan account. We could not identify a resource, neither in Site Administration, nor in Site Settings where we could add file types to the crawler for the SharePoint 2010 search engine. On the other hand, we tested a site search for specific content located within a test PDF file and were able to retrieve relevant sections fine. When we checked on why via an online search, we came up with Compliance/Enterprise Search question: I have been unable to find what iFilters are enabled for document searches within Exchange Online and Sharepoint Online.. From our review of this conversation, it appears that the crawler for Office 365 SharePoint Search is already configured to include information in PDF file type format. As well an iFilter is at work, at least for PDFs, that exposes the text content within these documents to indexing efforts.
The next topic for Robert Piddocke is mapping metadata properties, which we found to be of particular interest as we have spent considerable time in this blog commenting on the Term Store, metadata tagging and taxonomy for SharePoint 2010. Robert starts this portion of his presentation with a reference to the fact that most SharePoint Administrators, Developers, Architects and even Power Users are using custom columns in SharePoint as a means of adding additional descriptive information, in the form of metadata, about documents, lists, etc. than may be forthcoming from parsing the actual text data within these items, themselves. Joshua informs us that this custom columnar data is, by default, crawled, but not, by default, indexed. Robert concludes, naturally, that this type of data, which is crawled, but not indexed, “is not really usable.” Certainly the information, which has not been added to the index for the SharePoint farm, will not appear in site search results unless and until the text information is actually added to the index.
Robert goes on to note that it is possible to configure the crawler, in the section of managing the search service that deals with “Queries and Results,” to also index this content from custom columns. In the next post to this blog we will follow further on just how to configure a SharePoint 2010 Search Engine to index this information.
We need to note that SharePoint Online does not offer a mapped properties feature. Therefore, any of the search refinements that are available to users of SharePoint 2010, on premises, are, unfortunately, not available for SharePoint online.
© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved