Thursday, December 3, 2009

Step by step creating a Shared Scope in Search Server 2008 and making it show up in the dropdown

So you've got your Search Server 2008 installed and working but you now want to get creative and add scopes to limit results. Seems reasonable enough. If you just try creating a scope from one of your site collections you may find that it doesn't give you any results when you try to use it and you get a nifty error message as well like "scope in your query does not exist".

So instead, you need to create a Shared scope and then make a copy of that scope in your site collection for it to work.

1. First create the shared scope from the Central Admin. Note the mode=ssp at the end!
Click on New Scope, fill in the options and OK out of it.

2. You'll now see a that says Empty - Add Rules. Click on that. Here's where you'll set the limit on what sources you want results returned for. In my case, I chose content and limited my scope to only the sites my sharepoint server.

The finished Shared Scope should look like this:

3. You may or may not see a message saying that it will update in X minutes. If you see that, wait X minutes before continuing.

4. Now that you have your Shared Scope, go into one of your sites that you want to add this drop down to. (Yes, this will need to be done for every site that you want to add this to). Click Site Actions, Site Settings and under Site Collection Administration you should see "Search Scopes". If you don't, then log in as someone with more rights. Once you get into it, you should see a screen that by default has "Search Dropdown", "Advanced", and "Unused". At this point you'd love to be able to just drag it over and be done but alas, we're not there yet.
5. Click on the drop down arrow next to your Shared Scope and choose "Make copy"

6. Then click on the drop down arrow next to your new copy and click on Edit Properties and Rules.

7. You'll notice that unlike the Shared Scope, you can actually check the boxes for "Search Dropdown" and "Advanced Search". Rename the scope to what you want to display, check the boxes, and then click OK.

8. Now you should see your new copied scope show up in the right categories. You may or may not see a message saying that it will update in X minutes. If you see that, wait X minutes before continuing.

9. Now if you go into your site and refresh the page, you should see your new drop down option in the search box. (If you've created a "SearchCenter" page, remember to edit the WebPart first to actually show the drop down box.) Test it out to make sure it's working.

10. Now rinse, lather, and repeat the same for all the sites that you want this scope added to.

Credit where credit's due:
Aboo Bolaky's page - Good clue for finding the mode=ssp starting point.

And a thanks to the countless blogs out there that I used to set up search server 2008 in the first place! (It only took me 5 tries, thank heaven for virtual machines and rollback!)

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