This is a blog post in the series “How to set up a product-centric website in SharePoint Server 2013”.  In this series, I'll use data from a fictitious company called "Contoso" to show you how to use search features to set up a website based on product catalog data.
Note: most of features described in this series are not available in SharePoint 2013 online.

For an overview of the blog posts in this series, go to How to set up a product-centric website in SharePoint Server 2013.

 

Start stage 1

When you use cross-site publishing, you use one or more authoring site collections to author and store content, and one or more publishing site collections to show this content.

In our scenario, we'll start by creating a Product Catalog Site Collection. We'll use this site collection to author and store information about the products that Contoso offer, for example, info about the MP3 player "Litware 2G E200", or the Laptop "Adventure Works 15.4W".

Along with this, we'll be creating a Publishing Portal Site Collection. We'll use this site collection to display product info about "Litware 2G E200", "Adventure Works 15.4W" and all the other products that Contoso offer.

Remember though, visitors browsing the Contoso website, which is the publishing portal, will NOT be able to view content in the product catalog! Visitors will only get to see content that has been added to the search index from the product catalog. When visitors browse the Contoso website, search technology displays content from the search index.

So, in the simplest of terms, our architecture will look like this:

 

Site architecture

 

Bear with me if this is a bit tricky to follow. I'll soon be using real examples, and it'll all become a lot clearer. But first things first: let's create the site collections.

To create a Product Catalog Site Collection, here's what you should do: Go to Central Administration --> Create site collections, and then enter details for the site collection. Here's what you need to enter:

  1. title for the website.
  2. The website's URL.
  3. Select 2013 for the experience version.
  4. From the Publishing tab, select the Product Catalog template.
  5. In the field Primary Site Collection Site Administrator, enter the site admin's user name.

Take a look at the screen capture below for some more guidance. 

Create Product Catalog Site Collection

Now, to create a Publishing Portal Site Collection, repeat the steps above, but with one difference, from the Publishing tab, choose Publishing Portal. The title of this site collection is Contoso.

Create Publishing Portal Site Collection 

Now that we've our site collections, it's time to start adding content.

 

Next blog article in this series
Stage 2: Import list content into the Product Catalog Site Collection

 

 

Additional resources