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 the 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.
As described in Stage 3: How to enable a list as a catalog, the Products list has now been enabled as a catalog. As we'll be using search technology to retrieve and display content on our publishing site (the Contoso website), we have to crawl the catalog so that its content is added to the search index.
In this blog post, we'll learn:
Start stage 4
Depending on your permission level, you can start a crawl from two places:
The reason why you can start a crawl from two places is that people working with catalog content (let’s call them content managers) are not likely to have Search service application administration level rights, that is, they don’t have access to Central Administration.
When changes are made to catalog content, it makes sense to want to crawl this content fairly quickly, so that it can be displayed on the publishing site.
Luckily, content managers can make new content available without having to pester Search service application administrators to run new crawls -- but we'll be coming back to how to do this very shortly, as I first want to explain how to start a full crawl in Central Administration.
How to start a full crawl in Central Administration
Before you can start a full crawl in Central Administration, you have to specify which content source should be crawled. When you run a full crawl, all content in the content source is crawled even if that content has already been added to the search index.
For this scenario, we'll crawl the Local SharePoint sites content source.
The status of the crawl is shown in the Status column.
How to enable continuous crawls in Central Administration
You can only start a full crawl manually. Nobody wants the hassle of having to manually start a crawl every time a change is made to their catalog content, as this is neither an efficient nor practical way to work. So, to avoid this overhead, you can simply enable a continuous crawl of your content source that contains the catalog.
Continuous crawls start automatically at set intervals. Any changes that have been made to the catalog since the previous crawl, are picked up by the crawler and added to the search index.
To enable continuous crawls:
How to set continuous crawl interval
The default interval for continuous crawls is 15 minutes. You can set shorter intervals by using PowerShell. The code snippet below sets the continuous crawl interval to 1 minute.
$ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication$ssa.SetProperty("ContinuousCrawlInterval", 1)
So, by enabling continuous crawls, you can avoid a lot of frustration from content managers as they no longer have to wait for Search service application administrators to start a crawl for them. However, for some catalog changes, for example, enabling managed properties as refiners, continuous crawls are not sufficient, and you will need to do a full reindexing of the catalog content. But not to worry. Content managers have no reason for concern, because there is a way for them to initiate a full reindexing of the catalog.
How to initiate a reindexing of the catalog
To mark a catalog for reindexing, here's what to do:
How to view crawl status and schedule for a catalog
You can view the crawl status and schedule for an individual catalog. To do this:
So, all in all, content managers can be happy because their content is added to the search index at short intervals, and Search service application administrators can be happy because they are no longer bothered by content managers constantly asking them to start a crawl.
Next blog article in this seriesFrom site column to managed property - What's up with that?