Jan 21, 2011

Create a single Search Scope for SharePoint site, File Shares and People

You might wonder why not just use "All Sites"? A large SharePoint Farm normally includes multiple sharepoint applications with distinct users, users in one application are only interested in finding contents from their own application, not all contents in the farm. Also SharePont search scope generally confuse regular users even though it sounds well technically. So it is often desired to use only single scope which can cover all and only contents for a particular business unit, and those contents normally include file shares and also people in the whole organization.

How to do this?

this scope has to be created at service level, rather than site collection level since it includes file shares
  •    In Site collection, Search Setting, choose "enable Custom scope" and drop down Mode as:

  • In Site Collection, Search Scope, Modify Search Dropdown Display Group to display only one single search scope created in the above step
  • Create a Search Result Pages:
    • use Search Result Page Layout (only avaiable in Enterprise Search center site template) , which gives you most web parts on the page
    • Edit "Search Box" web part as follows:

    • Edit "Search Core Results" as follows:

    • insert "Refinement Panel" Web part and Customize it. see this blog for details
    • insert "People Search Core Results" and modify "cross-web part query id" property

By now, your single search goal is accomplished, but you might notice that the search center has no branding and navigation, as it is using minimal.master. Don't try to replace its master page as described in this blog.