SharePoint Features FAST Search
SharePoint FAST Search

SharePoint has many wonderful features, but one of the greatest is its incredible FAST Search, incorporated in 2008 into the platform and improved continuously through SharePoint 2013. SharePoint makes it much simpler to use powerful search features across the platform, particularly when you consider the logical setup of your site and plan to use these features as an integral part of your workflow.

Here are some tips to integrate search features into your daily routine and make your SharePoint experience more productive.

  • Utilize Continuous Crawl. Continuous Crawl is one feature of a dual search process: crawl and index. Just as the spiders on the Internet search out then categorize information using algorithms, so does SharePoint. However, a “full crawl” can tie up resources and take time, so it is best to do this on a limited basis. The number of full crawls you want to run per time period depends on your needs, but once per hour in an active environment is usually enough. Utilizing Continuous Crawl helps to fill in the gaps by pointing out only content that has been changed, deleted or added since the previous full crawl. This keeps the content fresh without the commitment of resources necessary for a full continuous scan.
  • Understand Content Search Web Part. CSWP replaces Content Query Web Part or CQWP in previous SharePoint versions. Several big differences have been integrated into CSWP. For example, this version allows queries of all information that is being crawled, including web apps and content outside of SharePoint’s parameters. It also solves previous page load problems that existed with earlier versions. Most important, users can now build queries much more easily with Query Builder, an intuitive program that allows both basic and advanced use.
  • Use Query Rules. Best Bets and Search Keywords, the customizable search functions from previous SharePoint versions, worked well but could stand improvement. Now, Query Rules can be configured at three levels: globally, on-site or subsite. This provides the best functionality and flexibility for searches. Query Rules determines when the search condition rules apply, determines the proper action and determines when the rule should be active based on user input. Users can choose between basic search rules and more advanced searches.

Try the new features of SharePoint 2013 and you will soon realize that the program offers even better control over your information and work process than ever before!