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How to more easily search the Configuration Manager documentation library online

How to more easily search the Configuration Manager documentation library online

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The Configuration Manager Documentation Library online contains a ton of information, but finding that information can sometimes be a challenge. If you use the search bar on the actual TechNet page, your search results will contain many links to information not contained in the ConfigMgr documentation library. If you're looking to search only within the Configuration Manager documentation library itself, you can narrow down the scope of the search by defining the site information to search using the syntax:

site:technet.microsoft.com "configuration manager"

Follow that up with the actual search terms you're looking for within the Configuration Manager documentation library to initiate the search. For example, if you're looking for service principal name requirements, and you only want to see information returned that has to do with service principal name requirements for Configuration Manager, then your complete search string would look something like:

site:technet.microsoft.com "configuration manager" SPN or
site:technet.microsoft.com "configuration manager" service principal name 

Either of those two searches would return SPN related information from only the Configuration Manager documentation library and not the full search of all TechNet pages...handy.

Of course, that does seem like a lot to type. To make this easier if you have Internet Explorer 7.0, you can create a custom search provider focusing only on the Configuration Manager documentation library. It's pretty easy to do too, just open up your favorite search engine and type:

site:technet.microsoft.com "configuration manager" TEST

Copy the resulting url from the address bar and then click this link: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/searchguide/en-en/default.mspx. Fill in the Create Your Own search provider section by pasting the test url you copied earlier in step 3 and a friendly name for the search provider in step 4. Next, just click Install to install the new search provider in your instance of IE 7.In this screen shot, I've installed the search provider and named it ConfigMgr Doc Library Search. When this search provider is used, it will only return information relating to the Configuration Manager documentation information.

Custom search provider

Here's the .xml for it if it helps:

  <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
- <OpenSearchDescription xmlns="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/">
  <ShortName>ConfigMgr Doc Library Search</ShortName> 
  <Description>ConfigMgr Doc Library Search provider</Description> 
  <InputEncoding>UTF-8</InputEncoding> 
  <Url type="text/html" template="http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=site%3Atechnet.microsoft.com+%22configuration+manager%22+{searchTerms}&go=Search&mkt=en-us&scope=&FORM=LIVSOP" /> 
  </OpenSearchDescription>

These are pretty handy to have around sometimes. It definitely makes searching the Web version of the Configuration Manager documentation library much easier, and these providers can also be created to search other specific Web sites as well. For example, I've got another custom search provider installed that searches the Microsoft Support Knowledge Base.

Hopefully this little trick makes finding information in the Configuration Manager documentation library online easier for you!

~Jeff Gilbert

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