Monthly Archives: June 2013

Search SharePoint 2013 and FAST Search

Posted by Jim on June 12, 2013
SharePoint 2013 / Comments Off on Search SharePoint 2013 and FAST Search

General Overview

The new SharePoint Search Architecture SSA consist of six components:

1)      Crawl

2)      Content Processing

3)      Analytical; Processing

4)      Index

5)      Query Processing

6)      Se\arch Administration


Index for SSA is stored on a file on the server that host SSA’s index component. You can create many indexes across many servers. Some of the improvements are:


Item FAST SharePoint 2013
FAST Search cost Additional Product license Free
New Web Parts   Included
Search Interface   New Search Interface
Hover Card Yes Yes
Hover Card Linked to Office Web Apps No Yes if Office Web Apps farm is installed (Graphical preview of the   contents)
Search API Yes Expanded greatly
Host distribution rule Yes (max 25 million items per starting address) No , No limit on the items in the starting address
Site level Administration Search No Yes create or override quarry rules, create refines, start local   crawl, create managed properties
Query Client Types No New “” Supporting quarry throttling
Term Store for Spelling No Yes – Term store to support correct spelling
Quarry Rules   New in 2013 Search improve relevance
People Search Integration Yes Better integration
Search Scopes and Federated location combined No Yes in one location.
Search Topology management API No No
Diagnostics No Crawl health Reports Quarry health reports Usage Health Reports
Query Suggestions Yes Greatly Improved

–            Weighting based on site a user has visited

–            Most frequently quarried

–            Personal quarry logs from activity

Search Refinement Web Part Web part

Now works with display templates … That live in the master page gallery   and can produce enhanced search designs and results.


Jscript, inline features css can be included

Results types   Rules, properties, templates (visual layout)
Web Parts 5 7, Improved Search Box management of WebParts
Search interface enhancements No New design and results framework and UI for search results
Search Topology Smaller Farm Size 2 to 4 Increased farm size … Enterprise should be a 4 to 6 server search   farm
Performance levels No New in 2013 – Reduced, partially reduced and Maximum
Supported Product Crawler -Until 2015 main stream support… “   ”

Other components have varying dates. Support is already being deprecated

No limit date
SharePoint 2013 Foundation or enterprise Additional cost Same



Search for SharePoint 2013

The FAST technology is now fully embedded into SharePoint 2013

This article provides a high-level summary of SharePoint 2013’s search capabilities.


  • §FAST-like search technology, acquired by Microsoft in 2008, is at the heart of SharePoint 2013 (although the code is in fact a new rewrite)
  • §Technologies and ideas from Bing and elsewhere have been added to the mix to provide a comprehensive set of enterprise search capabilities, with room for customization
  • §It includes a rules-based query parsing framework

We’ll follow the flow of documents for this walk-through, starting with crawling and finishing with search functionality provided to users.

No surprises here. It is encouraging to see Microsoft literature refer explicitly to capturing metadata associated with documents, and not just ingesting the document itself.

No processing is done at this stage, the content is simply acquired. Out-of-the-box connectors will be available for SharePoint (including People Profiles), HTTP, File Shares, and based on the BDC (Business Data Connectivity) framework, Exchange public folders, Documentum and Lotus Notes. A wide variety of other connectors will become available from 3rd parties in due course. For example, Search Technologies’ Aspire Data Connectors are fully compatible with SharePoint 2013.

Content Enrichment
Aka the indexing pipeline. In SharePoint 2013, this resembles the old FAST pipeline and looks to have a few important features. However, it is important to note that SharePoint 2013 does not offer equivalent functionality to FAST ESP or FS4SP. The content processing component also writes information to a “link database”. This information can be subsequently used by the analysis processing component to calculate link popularity statistics and provide relevancy weighting possibilities. Anchor text within links can also contribute to page content for ranking purposes. These are core techniques used by Google and Bing out on the Web. Applying them to private data sets (where most documents are not interlinked) will need to be done with some thought, but never-the-less, it is good to see that these capabilities have been carried over into SharePoint 2013.

Entity extractors, commonly used with SharePoint 2010 implementations to create custom refiners (search navigators) are retained. However, SharePoint 2013 search has no native categorization capability. This means that for many organizations, the “Web Services Call Out”, a pipeline module designed to enable 3rd party technologies to provide additional content enrichment, will be very important. FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 has a similar capability.

For example, Search Technologies provides bolt-on technologies for SharePoint Content Enrichment generally, and for SharePoint 2013 Categorization specifically, using the Web Services Call Out.

Analytics Processing
This component enables additional context to be introduced during the indexing process, which can later be used to customize relevancy ranking and for other purposes. Input to the analysis process is provided by the Link Database, describing how documents are linked, and from search and user behavior analytics. The latter enables, for example, “popular documents” to be promoted up the results list.

The Index Component and its architectural possibilities look FAST-like, with the ability to partition indexes into rows and columns to scale both data volumes and query loads. Low latency is also said to be possible – so content changes can be reflected in the indexes within seconds.

Query Processing

Query processing is an important (and sometimes neglected) part of enterprise search. In SharePoint 2013, a new component provides options to enhance the user’s query to improve precision, recall and relevancy.  Basic functions such as query spelling correction suggestions are included. “Query rules” can be applied, for example, to have a search request automatically trigger particular settings, to spawn multiple queries which are then aggregated, or to trigger a “best bet” (now called a “promoted result” in SharePoint 2013).

“Query Conditions” that cause rules to be triggered include the presence of specified words in the query. The Query Processing component also enables results sets returned by the search engine to be processed, according to rules, before being displayed to the user. Applications for this include additional search-time security trimming.

Different ranking models can be set up to suit different audiences, and these can be chosen at query time.

At Search Technologies, we are now fully engaged with a number of customers looking to upgrade early to SharePoint 2013. Watch this space for further updates.

How to Setup SSRS in SharePoint Integrated Mode

Posted by Jim on June 10, 2013
SharePoint 2010 / Comments Off on How to Setup SSRS in SharePoint Integrated Mode

After I installation and configuration of my new farm I realized that I did not install SQL Server Reporting Services in SharePoint mode or in native mode fro 2010 ….. GRrrrrrrrrr ate!

I was told that his a must on a standard install ….. but Luckily, that’s an easy thing to fix. I went to add features to my existing SQL installation. In the feature selection screen I chose install Reporting Services.

When I got to the Reporting Services configuration screen the only option available was, “Install, but do not configure the report server.” But, I did not panic. That did not mean I wouldn’t be able to configure the SSRS to be in a SharePoint Integrated mode.

I’ve decided to write a short guide to explain how to configure SSRS to be in a SharePoint Integrated mode.

1. After the SSRS installation process finishes on your SQL Server click on Start -> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 -> Configuration Tools -> Reporting Services Configuration Manager.

2. Choose the Server Name and Reporting Services instance and click on Connect.

3. The following screen is important because it shows us the status of your SSRS server. When you finish your configuration process you can go back to this screen and see the Report Server mode will be set to a SharePoint Integrated mode.

4. Navigate to the Database tab and click on Change Database.

5. Choose to create a new report server database and click on Next.

6. Perform a connection test and if it succeeded continue and click on next.

7. Choose the SharePoint integrated mode and click on next.

8. Choose authentication type and your service credentials. Click on Next.

9. Verify the information in the summary screen and if everything seems fine click on Next.

10. Navigate to the Web Service URL tab and after configuring the Web Service Site information click on Apply.

If you haven’t created a site in SharePoint for SSRS yet, this is the time to create it.

11. Navigate to the SharePoint 2010 Central Administration and click on General Application Settings.

12. Click on Reporting Services Integration. 

13. In the Report Server Web Service URL provide the URL we have created in section 10. Choose an authentication mode and User credentials. Choose whether to activate the feature on all existing site collections or in specified site collection. Click on OK.

Once the process finishes you will get the following screen:

14. Navigate back to the General Application Settings screen choose the Add a Report Server to the Integration option.

15. Provide the Server name and choose an instance.

16. Provide the SSRS Service account credentials and click on OK.

Congratulations! You have installed SSRS and can start using SharePoint’s features and enhancements for Reporting Services!

SharePoint 2013 Templates

Posted by Jim on June 05, 2013
SharePoint 2013 / Comments Off on SharePoint 2013 Templates

SharePoint 2013offers a vast variety of out-of-the-box site templates. One of the success factors of your SharePoint deployment is choosing the most suitable site template that meets your business needs.

I’ve been asked many times which site template can serve particular required needs and what differs one template from another, so I decided to write a quick overview of all the available SharePoint 2013 site templates and their common uses.


  • Team Site – The most common SharePoint site template, mainly used by teams to collaborate, organize, create, and share information and documents.

  • Blog – a site on which a user or group of users write opinions and share information.

  • Developer Site – this site template is focused on Apps for Office development. Developers can build, test and publish their apps here.

  • Project Site – this site template is used for managing and collaborating on a project. Project site coordinates project status and all additional information relevant to the project.

  • Community Site – a site where the community members can explore, discover content and discuss common topics.



  • Document Center – this site is used to centrally manage documents in your enterprise.

  • eDiscovery Center – this site is used to manage, search and export content for investigations matters.

  • Records Center – this site is used to submit and find important documents that should be stored for long-term archival.

  • Business Intelligence Center – this site is used for providing access to Business Intelligence content in SharePoint.

  • Enterprise Search Center – this site delivers an enterprise search experience.  Users can access the enterprise search center to perform general searches, people searches, conversation or video searches, all in one place. You can easily customize search results pages.

  • My Site Host – this site is used for hosting public profile pages and personal sites. This site can be available after configuration of the User Profile Service Application.

  • Community Portal – this site is used for discovering new communities across the enterprise.

  • Basic Search Center – this site is delivering the basic search experience.

  • Visio Process Repository – this site allows you sharing and viewing Visio process diagrams.


  • Publishing Portal – this site template is used for an internet-facing sites or a large intranet portals.

  • Enterprise Wiki – this site is used for publishing knowledge that you want to share across the enterprise.

  • Product Catalog – this site is used for managing product catalogs.

If none of those SharePoint site templates meets your needs you can always create custom templates.