Optimize SharePoint Search with Crawled vs Managed Properties
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Jan 4, 2024 12:00 PM

Optimize SharePoint Search with Crawled vs Managed Properties

by HubSite 365 about Daniel Anderson [MVP]

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Optimize SharePoint Search: Differences Between Crawled and Managed Properties

Key insights


SharePoint Crawled vs Managed Properties

In SharePoint, crawled properties are extracted during the crawling process, capturing raw data like titles and keywords from documents and items, and are not user-editable. In contrast, managed properties are user-defined search elements that offer more control over the search experience by being mapped to crawled properties.

Key Distinctions

  • Creation: Crawled properties are created automatically, whereas managed properties are established manually by administrators.
  • Purpose: Crawled properties help index content, while managed properties allow for detailed indexing control and search result refinement.
  • Control: Crawled properties have limited customization, as opposed to managed properties that enable advanced search tuning, including relevance and filtering settings.

Mapping and Use Cases

Mapping crawled to managed properties is vital for searching specific metadata fields in SharePoint. This process equips users with capabilities such as filtering and sorting searches. Crawled properties ensure content is searchable, and managed properties enrich metadata search and advanced search functions.

Through understanding these types, SharePoint administrators can enhance indexing and offer superior search experiences.


Understanding SharePoint Search

SharePoint's powerful search functionality is centered around its ability to catalog content for easy retrieval. This is achieved through the use of crawled and managed properties, which enable users to efficiently search through vast amounts of data. Crawled properties play a pivotal role in identifying the content that will be searchable, while managed properties take this a step further by allowing for detailed customization of how the search operates and displays results.

By carefully configuring these properties, SharePoint administrators are able to tailor the search experience to meet the specific needs of their users, resulting in a more efficient and user-friendly search process. Understanding the interplay between these two types of properties is essential for optimizing SharePoint's search capabilities, thus enhancing productivity and content discoverability within an organization.

SharePoint Search

SharePoint utilizes a powerful search function to help users find content and information quickly and efficiently. At its core lies the use of crawled and managed properties, which index documents and refine search experiences. Crawled properties automatically gather raw data, while managed properties, created by administrators, ensure precise content retrievability. The two types of properties work in tandem, crawled properties providing the data and managed properties offering a tailored search experience, thus fulfilling distinct but cooperative roles. Recognizing their unique purposes is pivotal for SharePoint administrators seeking to optimize content indexing and deliver enhanced search functionalities within their organization's SharePoint environment.

SharePoint Crawled and Managed Properties

SharePoint features two kinds of properties within its search framework: crawled properties and managed properties. These properties are vital for the efficient search of content. Crawled properties represent raw document data, while managed properties offer a way to fine-tune the search experience.

Crawled properties are generated automatically and include basic content markers like titles and keywords. They are collected during content indexing but cannot be modified directly by users. These properties lay the groundwork for the search capabilities within SharePoint.

Managed properties, conversely, are search schema elements set up and defined by users, typically those with administrative privileges. They allow for customized mapping to crawled properties, thereby helping users tailor how SharePoint analyzes and searches content.

Several critical distinctions separate crawled from managed properties. Firstly, while crawled properties are generated by SharePoint itself, managed properties require manual creation. Secondly, crawled properties index content directly for search purposes; managed properties refine how that indexed content is handled within searches. Lastly, managed properties offer extensive customizability, unlike the more rigid crawled properties.

Carefully linking crawled properties to managed properties is crucial. This mapping enables SharePoint to utilize metadata fields during searches, improving search functionality and accuracy considerably. Consequently, users can refine, sort, and employ complex search queries with ease.

Both property types are integral to SharePoint's search facilitation, each used in different scenarios to provide a robust and flexible search experience. Crawled properties are responsible for making content searchable, while managed properties handle all the nuances of metadata-based searching and advanced search features.

These components work together seamlessly to enhance SharePoint's search mechanism. Understanding their unique roles and how they interplay is essential for SharePoint administrators tasked with optimizing and managing search experiences.

Further Exploration

The SharePoint platform's search functionality hinges on the dynamic interplay between crawled and managed properties. These properties are not just system metrics; they're key to delivering a seamless information retrieval experience for users. Crawled properties lay the groundwork by indexing all document content, ensuring no piece of data is left unsearchable. Managed properties, with their customizable nature, empower administrators to guide the search experience, ensuring relevant and insightful results.

In modern business environments, Microsoft Search using SharePoint becomes a cornerstone of knowledge management. Effective search strategies allow for quick access to vital information, saving time and improving productivity. SharePoint's structured search schema, aided by the meticulous organization of crawled and managed properties, underscores the platform's commitment to user-centric design.

The integration of these properties and the resulting ease of access to information illustrate SharePoint's role as a pivotal tool in the Microsoft ecosystem. As technology evolves, the importance of sophisticated search mechanisms becomes even more pronounced, ensuring that SharePoint continues to be a go-to solution for businesses seeking streamlined content management and search solutions. Emphasizing the nuances of SharePoint's properties is not just about database managementβ€”it's about optimizing how knowledge flows within an organization.


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People also ask

What is the difference between crawled property and managed property?

Crawled properties are automatically populated by the search crawler in SharePoint as it crawls content. They represent metadata such as titles, authors, and so on, pulled from documents and other data sources. Managed properties, on the other hand, are a subset of crawled properties that have been explicitly marked to be included in the search index. Administrators select and configure managed properties to improve search experience, such as enabling them to be retrievable in search queries, sortable, or used as refiners.

How do I search managed properties in SharePoint?

To search for managed properties in SharePoint, use the search query syntax in the Search Box component, custom search applications, or REST API calls. Managed properties can be queried directly using their name. For instance, if you have a managed property named "ProjectManager," you can search for items related to a specific project manager by using the query "ProjectManager:John Doe".

What is crawling and indexing in SharePoint?

Crawling in SharePoint refers to the process by which the search system retrieves and processes all the content from SharePoint sites and any connected content sources. Indexing is the process of creating a searchable data structure based on the content that was crawled. Once indexing is complete, the data is organized in a way that allows for quick and efficient retrieval by the search function when users make queries.

How does SharePoint search work?

SharePoint search works by using the search index created through the crawling and indexing process. When a user inputs a search query, the search service interprets the query, checks against the search schema, and retrieves the relevant results from the index. These results are then presented to the user in an ordered list, typically prioritized by relevance. SharePoint also provides options for advanced searches using Boolean operators, managed property filters, and keyword search to help users narrow down their search to find more specific information.



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