Friday, 29 January 2010

A better way to do SharePoint Search Scopes

Recently I posted about how to solve SharePoint scopes not turning up in drop downs. In that post I showed how to add Search Scopes to a Site Collection. In this post I am going to show you how to do it better.

The problem with site collection scopes is that they are limited to the site collection in which they are defined. Not only does this mean they can't be shared, they also can't be fixed by central admin without going in to the site collection itself. In the SSP Search you will see the scopes listed, but the ones made in site collections can only be edited in site collections.

A better way is what is shown above. Create all your scopes via a change control process. Once a scope is defined and understood why it is needed create it in the SSP under view scopes. Scopes created at the SSP level can be managed for the entire Enterprise at the SSP level, changed or deleted centrally, and they can be shared by the entire Enterprise.

Then when you wish to extend a search scope to a site collection it is made available through the Central Shared Service Provider rather than just created at the Site Collection level. The local admin would only need click it rather than define it.

In almost all cases using SSP to create scopes is the best way. But like so much in SharePoint it is actually easier to do it the "wrong way" and define scopes independent of the Enterprise view at the site collection level. This is creating just another silo, this time of search knowledge.
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