The SharePoint Search Service Application includes an enterprise search engine. How do SharePoint Administrators input information to the search engine? In a video tutorial titled Adding Content Sources and Federated Locations in SharePoint 2010, Robert Piddocke ” . . . an author of multiple Search related books . . .” demonstrates how to identify internal content repositories (file shares) and external equivalents to the crawler feature of the SharePoint Search Service Application. Another option discussed in this tutorial is to “federate” an external content search source (for example, Google, or Youtube), which will add results to the SharePoint Search results page. The results obtained from “federated sources will be exposed separately from core indexed results. A subscription to SharePoint-Videos.com is required to view the tutorial.
Any queries placed through the SharePoint enterprise search engine will be placed over each “federated” content search source. The results of the query, in out of the box SharePoint 2010, will be displayed in a vertical sidebar along the right hand side of the central content section of the results page. The listings in the central content section are ranked, while the results in the right hand sidebar are not.
Any external search engines supporting the Open Search protocol can be added as a federated content search source.
Once content sources have been identified, the crawler feature of the SharePoint Search Service Application can be scheduled for content indexing. For external web sites, indexing schedules should conform to the specifications included in the robot.txt file for the site. As we mention in our tutorial, it doesn’t usually make sense to repetitively index local file shares where content is rarely updated.
Programs designed to help hasten user adoption of SharePoint as the preferred method of accomplishing daily computing tasks should include a configured enterprise search feature complete with the most popular and useful content sources. Our tutorial demonstrates the steps administrators need to take to deliver successfully on this objective.
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