The crawler component of the search feature of SharePoint Server 2013 extracts a very large volume of “Crawled Properties”, as Agnes Molnar, a subject matter expert and published author on the topic, points out in a video tutorial titled Working with metadata (Part 1). The trick, for SharePoint administrators, is to create “Managed Properties” and then map them to the “Crawled Properties”, so users will successfully use search queries to find the information they require from the voluminous set of “Crawled Properties” produced by the search crawler.
Agnes provides an example of the relationship between “Crawled” and “Managed” properties in this video tutorial. Several different sets of metadata can appear in “Crawled Properties” for the same piece of information, for example, the name of the person authoring the information. If the content exposed to the crawler is a set of email messages, then the data following “From” will point to the person responsible for creating the information in email form. But if the content is a set of documents created by Microsoft Office, then anything following the term “Author” will point to the same information. Finally, for unstructured information created in SharePoint, itself, the author is designated by the text string “CreatedBy”. Agnes recommends mapping each of these terms to a “Managed Property” called “Author”. Once the “Managed Property” has been created, it can then be made available to users as a refiner, or even as part of the results set.
Another very important point Agnes makes in this short video is to point to Line of Business (LoB) units as the best group to create the set of “Managed Properties” to which the “Crawled Properties” will be mapped. After all, the example we’ve given here is very simple, but there are highly sophisticated variants usually only detectable to LoBs. To cite merely one example, simply consider a set of highly specialized lending document types, which may not be successfully managed as “Crawled Properties”, but will work very well once the responsible LoB unit provides a “Managed Property” like “lending document” to which each one of the set can be mapped.
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