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Editor's note: Contributor Jasper Oosterveld is a SharePoint Consultant at Wortell. Follow him @SharePTJasper
The new Search features in SharePoint 2013 are simply amazing. The FAST engine is finally fully integrated and you don't need to acquire an additional license. Thank you Microsoft!
So what is so amazing about the new Search features? Let's execute a search for SharePoint apps:
I hope you notice a couple of things. Firstly, two new Search scopes: Conversations and Videos. More about these later. Secondly, a query suggestion. Search has registered the query sharepoint app before by other users and provides this query suggestion. Thirdly, I have clicked on a search result (What is a SharePoint) after executing the query and these are now registered as my personal favorites.
After executing the query the search results are presented and we can immediately see the new cool features!
The refinement panel is extended with visual refiners. By default the Modified date is activated but you have the option to develop your own visual refiners. You can create new display templates to change the look and feel of the refiner. The refinement panel web part has the option to add more refiners. For example, I added another visual refiner with the created date.
The Office Web Apps (you do need to install these first) enable a preview screen for Office documents. I really love this feature because it provides so much information. At the top right, the amount of views are displayed. You can browse through the entire presentation and even the animations are activated. Do you see Take a look inside? These take you directly to a certain slide. To be honest, I am not sure how it is decided which slide titles to show. Are these always the first five? Please let me know if you have the answer.
The social features are also integrated with the Follow button. The presentation will appear in your Newsfeed and you will receive updates about the presentation.
The last cool feature is View Library. This opens the library of the presentation. In SharePoint 2010 you had to extend the XSLT of the search results web part in order to enable this feature.
Let's take a look at the other search scopes and start with People:
By hovering over a person, a dialog is presented with more details. You get a nice overview of the person's profile properties and can follow or stop following this person. A new feature is the result block showing people who have created or modified documents about sharepoint apps. If you have Lync installed you can start a new chat or e-mail the person to talk about sharepoint apps. Cool!
A new scope in SharePoint 2013 is Conversations:
The conversation scopes queries the Newsfeed (My Site) and the communities (Community site). You can see the whole conversation by clicking on View Discussion.
The last scope is Videos and as you might expect, only video results are shown. You have the option to view the video in the dialog box. Nice!
I hope you like the new Search features! I sure do. I am going to write more articles about Search in the near future. Keep an eye out!