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How to Maximize SharePoint's Out-of-the-Box Features

  • September 10, 2008
  • By Daan De Brouckere & Raj Agarwal
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Scenario 2: How to Search for External Content Using SharePoint Search

The problem

A real estate company would like to provide its users the ability to search for Internet content from their intranet site. The company intranet is on SharePoint and the IT Director has observed that the many users are searching for Internet content and not utilizing any features of their SharePoint intranet site. The IT Director would like to ensure that users are visiting and using the new intranet site to its full potential and still have the ability to search Internet content from SharePoint.

The solution

To provide users with the ability to search Internet content on an intranet site in SharePoint, Content Sources can be leveraged. A Content Source is a location that contains content or resources that users would like to search. By default, SharePoint 2007 supports indexing or searching through web sites. Once a new Content Source has been added that indexes the external sites, the users can leverage the default SharePoint search to query content on both the intranet and Internet sites. This also allows the user to search for content from a central location and in a familiar user interface.

To add a new Content Source in SharePoint to search through an external site, follow these steps:

  1. Open SharePoint Central Administration and go to Shared Service Provider (SSP).
  2. Click Search Setting under the Search options (see Figure 9).


  3. Click here for a larger image.

    Figure 9: Search settings in SSP

  4. Click Content Sources and Crawl Schedules within the Crawl Settings section, as shown in Figure 10.
  5. Figure 10: Search setting page

  6. On the Manage Content Sources page, click New Content Source.
  7. Enter a Name for the Content Source and select Web Sites as the Content Source Type (see Figure 11).


  8. Click here for a larger image.

    Figure 11: Adding content source

  9. In Start Address, enter the URL for the external site and specify the crawl settings and schedules for the external site (see Figure 12). Click OK.


  10. Click here for a larger image.

    Figure 12: Specify content source

  11. The new Content Source will crawl at the next scheduled crawl. Now, when the user enters a search in SharePoint, it will query both the intranet and external web site.




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