Setting up Search Infrastructure – Part I

Some of the content appearing in these posts is taken from the SharePoint 2010 Search Evaluation Guide which can be downloaded from here.


This post covers the following –

  • Creating Enterprise Search Centers
  • Creating Content Sources
  • Creating Crawl Rules


The enterprise search features provided by SharePoint Server 2010 can be administered at the site collection level and at the Search service application level. The following sections provide step-by-step instructions for working with various aspects of enterprise search in SharePoint Server 2010. Administrators can use the Search Administration pages to manage search settings that affect all Web applications that consume the search service. Administrators will typically start here when configuring the search system. The main day-to-day operations include creating content sources, configuring crawler settings, configuring settings to improve relevance for those content sources, adding federated content repositories, and working with search reports. The following step-lists provide instructions for performing common operations in all of these scenarios.


Creating Enterprise Search Centers

Search Center is a site based on the Search Center site template. It provides a focused user interface that enables information workers to run queries and work with search results.

The following procedure creates a Search Center at the root Web for a site collection. This is the generally recommended approach and architecture for creating Search Center sites with SharePoint Server 2010.

  1. Click Start>All Programs>Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products>SharePoint 2010 Central Administration.
  2. In the Application Management group, click on the Create Site Collections link.
  3. Create a new site collection in the web application of your choice. In the Title text box, type Search Center. In the Description text box, type Enterprise Search Center for SharePoint 2010.
  4. In the Web Site Address section, select /sites/ in the drop-down list, and then type search in the text box. In the Template Selection section, click the Enterprise tab. Click FAST Search Center.
  5. In the Primary Site Collection Administrator section, type your name in the text box, and then click Check Names. Click OK.
    After a short period of time, the site collection is created and the Top-Level Site Successfully Created page appears.
  6. Click the hyperlink to the new site collection to start exploring the Search Center.


Creating Content Sources

Content sources are definitions of systems that will be crawled and indexed. For example, administrators can create content sources to represent shared network folders, SharePoint sites, other Web sites, Exchange public folders, third-party applications, databases, and so on.

  1. Start SharePoint 2010 Central Administration.
  2. In the Application Management Section, click Manage service applications |
    FAST Content.
  3. On the Quick Launch, in the Crawling section, click Content Sources.
  4. Click New Content Source.
  5. In case you do not see a content source for SharePoint Sites already created, create it before proceeding to the next step.

  1. Create a new content Source named Documents to point to a File Share on your machine which contains a bunch of Documents. Optionally create a crawl schedule while defining this Content source.

    Note : You will need to specify a path using UNC naming conventions and may need to share the folder before you can specify the path.

  2. After the Content Source has been created, start a Full Crawl on it.


Creating Crawl Rules

Crawl rules specify how crawlers retrieve content to be indexed from content repositories. For example, a crawl rule might specify that specific file types are to be excluded from a crawl, or might specify that a specific user account is to be used to crawl a given range of URLs.

Crawl schedules specify the frequency and dates/times for crawling content repositories. Administrators create crawl schedules so that they do not have to start all crawl processes manually.

A crawler impact rule governs the load that the crawler places on source systems when it crawls the content in those source systems. For example, one crawler impact rule might specify that a specific content repositories that is not used heavily by information workers should be crawled by requesting 64 documents simultaneously, whereas another crawler impact rule might specify less aggressive crawl characteristics for systems that are constantly in use by information workers.

  1. On the Quick Launch of the FAST Content Service Application, in the Crawling section, click Crawl Rules.
  2. Click New Crawl Rule.
  3. Specify the path file://<<machinename>>/<<sharename>> of the content source you created earlier. Include all items in this path. Since the default content access account may not have adequate permissions to access the file share, use the Specify a different content access account option in the Specify Authentication section to specify credentials that have read access to the content source. Close the page.


  1. Start a crawl of the content source to make sure there are no errors in the crawl rule.
  2. Navigate to the Search Center website and enter a search query to make sure that content from the file system is appearing in the search results.


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