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A Sensible Approach to Configuring the Query Component of Search for SharePoint Server 2013

As we wrote in the prior post to this blog, the feature of SharePoint Server 2013 most likely to magnetize high expectations from end users is search. Therefore, stakeholders in the success of any implementation of this computing platform must make a very serious effort to successfully architect and deliver a truly useful search feature for the platform.

The key component worthy of a lot of scrutiny is the query tool. If managed properties do not lend themselves to the typical type of inexact input likely to be produced by end users, then these information baskets, for organizing crawled properties of information reposed in SharePoint, must be designed to, nevertheless, still deliver highly useful results to the type of typical end user for an organization.

A very useful safeguard to ensure the probable success of the design effort is to make a point of include representatives from Line of Business (LoB) units in any discussion and/or planning effort for the query tool. LoB representative will be able to attest, first hand, to either the usefulness of managed properties as the query tool is prototyped. In fact, as we point out in a set of video tutorials on SharePoint Server 2013 search, authored by Agnes Molnar, and titled SP13-305 SharePoint 2013:Search, it makes even more sense to include these representatives in the design and construction phase for the managed properties, themselves.

An additional benefit of including LoB representatives in the planning process is to make a best effort to include, on a first pass, the features specific silos within an organization are after. It is common with IT project like a SharePoint implementation for silos to express complaints after systems have been built, when, unfortunately, the cost of dissembling the system, changing the design to fill in the gaps, and then rebuilt it, is very high. Better to minimize costs in the first place by including them in as many of the planning discussions for the system as possible.

Ira Michael Blonder

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