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Express Panel Search and Search settings

What's new?

The ExpressPanel has been greatly improved in version 2.0.5. The Express Panel search can now be customized in great detail.

New in version 2.2.0.0

SharePoint Managed properties

All SharePoint standard managed properties, all named Refinable<Type><Number> are now available for use. Prior to this, only a subset of these were available.

Managed properties cache

The SharePoint Search schema is cached when used on the WorkPoint 365 Search Settings page. It is now possible to clear this cache.

Revised and improved rendering of results

The  first major differences users will notice, is the new icons in the top and rendering of results as tabular data.

Available in WorkPoint Express

Another new aspect is that the document search is also available from within WorkPoint Express, so users will be able to find documents or files in WorkPoint Express and drag and drop them to different entities.

Sorting

All columns that support sorting will also show a hover effect when the user moves the mouse over it. By clicking the column header, the user can toggle through the different sorting modes: ascending, descending and off.

Getting started

First find the new Search settings page in the WorkPoint Administration site, located in the navigation menu to the left. On the settings page there are two tabs, "Entity Search Settings" and "Document Search Settings". The settings on each tab works indepent of the settings on the other tab.

Default setup is an Entity Search configuration where all business modules will be added as their own result groups, as well as having an “All”result group, searching across all business modules.

How it works

A couple of new aspects are being introduced to WorkPoint 365:

Enabled

Choose whether this search pane is visible and enabled for users. For whatever purpose, a it is possible to only have the Document search enabled, for instance.

Page size

Determine how many results are shown to the user, before he has to paginate to the next. Do mind that both too few results and too many, can have a negative impact on the usability of the Express Panel, as users may quickly loose track of their results if they must scroll through 200 elements, but they may find it cumbersome to have to change page for every 5 results.

Scope, or search query scope

A default SharePoint search query that will automatically be added to every search made by the user, governed by these settings. By default no scope will be added for the Entity search settings, because it will primarily focus on searching in one or all of the business module lists.

Document Search, however, makes use of this default search string : contentclass:STS_ListItem_DocumentLibrary contentclass:STS_ListItem_PictureLibrary contentclass:STS_ListItem_Tasks contentclass:STS_ListItem_Events contentclass:STS_ListItem_Links contentclass:STS_ListItem_Announcements contentclass:STS_ListItem_DiscussionBoard contentclass:STS_ListItem_IssueTracking contentclass:STS_ListItem_GanttTasks contentclass:STS_ListItem_Survey -contenttypeid:0x0120*

In short, this tells the Document Search to only include results if they live up to all the conditions posed in this string. Notice here that the -contenttypeid:0x0120*, makes sure that no folders, or inherited folder contenttypes are returned. Meaning that if the user wanted to see folders in their search result, they could just remove this part of the scope.

Search operator

Controls whether the search query the user enters will always have an asterisk (*) appended to it or not.

In many cases, users will wonder why nothing is shown if they enter the query: Pix and expect it to find a result named: Pixelated Magazine. This is because SharePoint search defaults to using exact match for queries.
It is perfectly legitimate to let it be set to exact match, and educate users that they can manually add an asterisk to the end of the query, to give more control of the search.

Result groups

Result groups can be used to make useful groupings of search results. Content types can also be specified for at result group, making it possible to only have a group of projects in a certain stage, for instance.

Each result group has a reference to a Column group, which defines what columns will be shown when the result group is selected (See Column groups section below).

Result groups are used when searching for Documents and Entities, but they are defined individually on their respective pane on the search settings page.

A result group consists of:

  • Title: Name of the result group
  • Sorting: A sorting key to define the order of appearance of the result groups in the result group selector on the Express Panel.
  • Indentation: Indentation level (how much the item will be indented in the result group selector on the Express panel, useful for making visual hierarchies).
  • Column group: A column group reference. See column groups description below.
  • Business module: Optional, only available for entity search settings. Can be one of the following:
      - None
      - All
      - Specific business module (one of the users business modules).
  • Content types: Only show the selected content types.
  • Refiners: Multiple additional refiners to add to the current result group.

Column groups

Use column groups to decide what columns will show up for a search result. You can also configure special columns that will show extra information about the result, an icon for instance. When you have created a column group, reference it from a result group, and the next time you search using that result group, your selected columns will show up.

Column groups consists of:

• Title: Name of the column group

• Columns: Multiple columns, which have the following properties:
            - Title: A title to name the column being shown
            - Field: The field to show in this column (SharePoint Search managed property)
            - Sorting: A sorting key to determine the order of appearance of the columns on the Express Panel
            - Column type: Different types of columns have individual render modes. The examples are:
                          - Text: A text representation of the result columns data.
                          - Text and location: Same as above, but will additionally render a 2nd row of text, indicating where the result was found.
                          - Icon: Custom WorkPoint field, which always shows the results icon, where available.

Saved searches

Commonly used searches can be saved for use by all users. This could be a complex SharePoint search query that is tedious to type. These saved searches are available from a dropdown in the to right hand side of the Express Panel.

A saved search consists of:

  • Title: The title of the saved search.
  • Query: A custom provided SharePoint search query.
  • Result group: Saved search can be very context specific, so a predefined result group is necessary.
  • Result scope: Saved searches can be relevant across the entire system or on a single entity, so the user can choose between the result scopes described in the next section

Result scopes

Result scopes determine where the search query will be directed. It is chosen in the top right fold down menu in the Express Panel. It can be one of these three options:

  • Search in everything: Searches this entire WorkPoint 365 solution. Ignoring SharePoint sites / Site collections that have nothing to do with WorkPoint.
  • Search this entity: Searches through content directly on this entity.
  • Search this entity and below: Searches through content on this entity and all its sub-entities (A company’s projects, for instance).

Using more information from search with managed properties

Out of the box you will be able to display commonly used fields in columns and refine on managed properties already available. If however, you wish to display even more information in the search or refine on completely different values, you will have to map fields accordingly, using the SharePoint Online search schema. This scenario is typically wanted in scenarios where SharePoint Taxonomy is used for categorizing entities or documents. Using a custom site column for grouping content is a very common use case, and through the management of SharePoints' search schema, it is also made available for use with the WorkPoint 365 Express Panel.

Setting it up

When a WorkPoint 365 solution has been created and all settings have been configured, excluding the WorkPoint 365 Search Settings, it is time to configure the search schema.

See this Microsoft Office support document for more details on how to setup relevant managed properties for use with WorkPoint 365 Express Panel.

It is required that all configurations for the SharePoint Search schema must be done in the tenant level, not on individual site collections, or else WorkPoint wont be able to pick up these settings correctly!

Using managed metadata in the Express Panel

After you have configured the Search schema, it is required to clear the Workpoint 365 Search settings managed property cache, before you will be able to use the newly added managed properties. This is due to it being very work intensive to fetch the search schema from SharePoint Online.

Clear the cache by clicking the blue link at the top of the Search settings page, as illustrated below:


All Managed properties will now be available for use as either af field to be displayed in a column, as shown in the example below, using the managed property: 'RefinableString19'.


Managed properties that are refinable, are also available in the 'Refiners' column for Result groups, as seen in the example below, using the managed property: 'RefinableString48'.

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