January 25, 2021
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How to Maximize SharePoint's Out-of-the-Box Features

  • By Daan De Brouckere & Raj Agarwal
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Figure 3: custom view

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Figure 4: Custom view results

The creation of views allows users to get to the information they need efficiently.

SharePoint Search

Right out of the box, SharePoint offers several powerful search features. These include full-text indexing of any Office documents, a "Did you mean?" feature, People Search, and the ability to index information outside of SharePoint, such as file shares (see Figure 5).

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Figure 5: Search results example

On top of all that, SharePoint has advanced relevancy features that put the most relevant results at the top. End users can be notified when search results change by using the alerts or RSS features. Security trimming prevents users from seeing results that they don't have access to. Search management tools (including reporting) allow the administrators to analyze and monitor searching. In the following examples, you'll walk through how the capability to specify additional search scopes can narrow down search results for specific scenarios.

Scenario 1: How to Use Two Custom Lists to Standardize Dropdowns or Create a Dropdown with Dynamic Data

The problem

A large university is looking to provide its fast-growing segment of online students' similar services to those that are currently available to on-campus students. One particular example is the English Department's initiative to offer online writing assistance services to off-campus students via SharePoint 2007. The challenge faced today is that when off-campus students request assistance by submitting their papers, the English Department has to manually look up all the tutors, by name, and assign a tutor to each incoming request.

Once a request has been submitted, it gets stored in the "Request Assistance" document library. Then, a supervisor from the English Department manually looks up the list of tutors in the "Tutors" list and assigns a tutor to the request as part of the metadata of the document. The list of the tutors changes on a regular basis and is currently managed by the English Department. Due to security policies, the IT department can only delegate "Contribute" access rights to the English Department over the "Request Assistance" document library. Therefore, the English Department does not have access to modify the dropdown options in the "Tutors" column once it has been created by the IT Department.

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This article was originally published on September 10, 2008

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