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Further on the Query Component of Search in SharePoint Server 2013

Scale is and should be an important consideration for SharePoint administrators grappling with how best to configure the search service for SharePoint Server 2013. In a series of video tutorials titled SharePoint 2013: Search, Agnes Molnar, subject matter expert and published author on this topic spends time presenting the query component of this search service. When she describes how the query component works, querying the index (which is comprised of managed properties), vs. the content, itself, reposed in SharePoint 2013, she is providing administrators with a specific example of how they can deliver a high quality service to SharePoint 2013 users by building the value of querying the index, rather than the content. But a detailed index will not be very useful if the “queryable” setting is not enabled for each of the managed properties included in it.

As pointed out in Manage the search schema in SharePoint Server 2013 “Users can only search on managed properties and not on crawled properties” (quoted from this article on Technet). In order to exposed managed properties to user queries, the “queryable” setting must be enabled for each of the managed properties. Of course, this extra step makes complete sense from the perspective of establishing and maintaining a secure computing environment. But administrators need to be attentive to ensuring the setting is enabled, else the benefit of building managed properties will elude them.

When large numbers of users are engaged in building and executing search queries, the performance of a SharePoint Server 2013 implementation can be substantially degraded. Therefore, it is very important to take the steps required to build managed properties correctly. Once a truly representative index of documents and other items reposed in SharePoint has been built, at least the user query component should function very efficiently.

The Technet article we’ve referenced should be mandatory reading for SharePoint administrators. Unfortunately, Microsoft will soon drop the Technet service. Therefore, administrators should review the article and download whatever information is available for local use as soon as possible.

Ira Michael Blonder

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