Chris’s SharePoint Reflections

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  • Chris Zhong

    IT consultant Australia

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Managed Property in SharePoint Search

Posted by chrissyz on February 17, 2009

Managed Property plays a very important role in MOSS 2007 Search. If used properly, you can greatly enrich the user search experience without spending a lot of effort. Before we go in the topic, let’s look at what is managed property.

The SharePoint search engine index both unstructured information, like text in word documents, http pages ectc and structured information (metadata), such as file size, file extension, title, author etc. We call this piece of metadataproperty. SharePoint operates with two kinds of properties: crawled property and managed property. Crawled properties are discovered by the crawler. Each SSP has a list of crawled properties in the metadata store in its SQL database. Properties are automatically added into the metadata store when the crawler crawling content. Thus, the number of crawled properties can be added up quickly. This crawled property list is shared across all content sources in SSP.

 Before MOSS 2007, SharePoint only operates with Crawled property. However, in reality, only a small subset of the crawled property is needed for searching and for displaying the search results. And you don’t have control of the name of the crawled properties. Crawler will name them itself by some internal naming rules. Thus, they can have lengthy names that would make them hard to reference in code or other places.

Managed property is a new concept introduced in MOSS 2007. They are created by SSP administrators and provide an easier and more consistent experience for managing and using the subset of crawled properties that matters to the business. And you can also map several crawled properties to the same managed property. This makes it possible to join different crawled properties that are semantically the same to a single managed property.

 Here are some examples of managed properties that are available in MOSS 2007,

  • AssignedTo
  • Author
  • ContentType
  • FileExtension
  • SiteTitle
  • etc..

Check the blog to see how you can create your own managed property. 

The use cases for managed properties:

  • Construct Search Query : The most straight forward way is to execute searches from the search box using managed properties. We can enter them directly into the search box. For example, I want to find all the documents written by me, I would execute a search in my MOSS site using the following text:”Author:Chris”
  • Customize Search Results: We are all familiar with OOTB search results that displaying the metadata, like title, author, URL etc. Actually, we can customized the search results to display any available metadata as long as the metadata is a managed property in the index
  • Expose for advanced search: The Advanced search page has property picker that can be populated managed properties. You can add managed properties to the property picker in the advanced search page by modifying the XML attaché to the Advanced Search Box for the properties. Here is a MSDN Visual How-to shows you step by step how to do that. Check it out!
  • Use in Search scope: You can use managed property to configure search scope. Here is a good blog of how to do it. 
  •  Custom relevancy ranking: Managed properties play a role within the ranking of the results.The managedproperty class exposes the Weight property which can be changed programmatically to influence the relevance ranking

3 Responses to “Managed Property in SharePoint Search”

  1. Wendy said

    Do you know of any way to apply managed properties in bulk to multi-file uploads? Or let users define managed property presets they can quickly apply to several documents?
    We recently began using managed properties and now I have a couple users a little unhappy abou the added time when doing multiple documents! How are other people handling this?


  2. david said

    Thanx for a great article!

  3. Yuda said

    Nice article.

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