Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, John Basso, Elizabeth White, Mihai Corbuleac

Blog Feed Post

Get to know the Refinement Web Part in SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Search

In MOSS 2007, people often extending the search results experience by using the Faceted Search Web Parts.  People really liked these so it looks like Microsoft decided to implement their own version called the RefinementWebPart (also known as the Refinement Panel).  If you are familiar with the Faceted Search Web Parts at all, you will notice there are a lot of similarities in the way things are implemented.  If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, it’s this web part that allows users to drill down into a set of search results based upon managed properties and other criteria.  Let’s take a look at a quick example.

RefinementDefault

On the left there, you will see a set of refinements that we get out of the box.  I didn’t have to do anything to configure these at all.  There are a number of refinements built in including file type, site, author, modified date, and taxonomy.  You can also easily create your own based on managed property which we will see here shortly. 

Let’s take a look at some of the options on this web part.  If we edit the page and then edit the web part, we will be able to see the options.  If you’re on a small screen (or a small window in the case of a  VM), you will have to scroll right to see the web part properties.

RefinementWebPartProperties1

Since this is a search web part, you will see the familiar Cross-Web Part query ID.  This should be synced up to whatever else you are using on the page.  Usually it is set to User query.  The next section is where we can configure the refinement.  Make note of the Use Default Configuration checkbox.  If you don’t uncheck this, anything you customize will not be saved.  Each thing that you can filter on is called a category by the RefinementWebPart.  The Filter Category Definition property is an XML field where each category is specified.  We’ll also look at that later in the post.  Other properties to note here.  The Accuracy Index is the number of results it looks at to determine things to refine.  I assume this it mainly there to keep things performing well.  What this does mean is that if there is something unique to refine on but it doesn’t occur until result number 51, then it will not be included.  You can also configure how many categories to display. This is set to 6 by default.  The last thing I will point out is that you can configure how the web part displays its information using XSLT (not shown in the screenshot above).

Now let’s look at how we can add our own managed property to the category list.  You should of course confirm the managed property works and that you can query on it first (do a full crawl if necessary).  We then, just need to take a look at the XML for the Filter Category Definition.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<FilterCategories>

  <Category    Title="Result Type"    Description="The file extension of the item"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4"    MaxNumberOfFilters="0"    SortBy="Frequency"    SortDirection="Descending"    SortByForMoreFilters="Name"    SortDirectionForMoreFilters="Ascending"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="FileExtension"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer">

    <CustomFilters MappingType="ValueMapping" DataType="String" ValueReference="Absolute" ShowAllInMore="False">

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Adobe PDF">

        <OriginalValue>pdf</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Email">

        <OriginalValue>eml</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>msg</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>exch</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Excel">

        <OriginalValue>odc</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>ods</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>xls</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>xlsb</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>xlsm</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>xlsx</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Image">

        <OriginalValue>tif</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>tiff</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Lotus Notes">

        <OriginalValue>nsf</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="One Note">

        <OriginalValue>one</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="PowerPoint">

        <OriginalValue>odp</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>ppt</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>pptm</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>pptx</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Publisher">

        <OriginalValue>pub</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Text">

        <OriginalValue>odt</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>txt</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>url</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>csv</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Visio">

        <OriginalValue>vdw</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vdx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vsd</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vss</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vst</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vsx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vtx</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Webpage">

        <OriginalValue>ascx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>asp</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>aspx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>htm</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>html</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>jhtml</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>js</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>mht</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>mhtml</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>mspx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>php</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue></OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="XML">

        <OriginalValue>xml</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Word">

        <OriginalValue>doc</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>docm</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>docx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>dot</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>nws</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Zip">

        <OriginalValue>zip</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

    </CustomFilters>

  </Category>

  <Category    Title="Site"    Description="Which site this document is from"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    SortBy="Frequency"    SortByForMoreFilters="Name"    SortDirection="Descending"    SortDirectionForMoreFilters="Ascending"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="SiteName"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer" />

  <Category    Title="Author"    Description="Use this filter to restrict results authored by a specific author"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    SortBy="Frequency"    SortByForMoreFilters="Name"    SortDirection="Descending"    SortDirectionForMoreFilters="Ascending"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="Author"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer"    />

  <Category    Title="Modified Date"    Description="When the item was last updated"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="6"    MaxNumberOfFilters="0"    SortBy="Custom"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="Write"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer" >

    <CustomFilters MappingType="RangeMapping" DataType="Date" ValueReference="Relative" ShowAllInMore="False">

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past 24 Hours">

        <OriginalValue>-1..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past Week">

        <OriginalValue>-7..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past Month">

        <OriginalValue>-30..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past Six Months">

        <OriginalValue>-183..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past Year">

        <OriginalValue>-365..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Earlier">

        <OriginalValue>..-365</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

    </CustomFilters>

  </Category>

  <Category    Title="Managed Metadata Columns"    Description="Managed metadata of the documents"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.TaxonomyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="3"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="3"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="ows_MetadataFacetInfo"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer" />

  <Category    Title="Tags"    Description="All managed metadata of the documents and social tags"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.TaxonomyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="3"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="3"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="ows_MetadataFacetInfo,popularsocialtags"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer" />

</FilterCategories>

I went ahead and posted the entire XML because it’s worth seeing.  For the most part the schema is pretty easy to follow.  The Category element defines each thing to refine and then it has some basic configuration items such as the number of filters to display.  You specify the name of the managed property to use in the MappedProperty attribute.  The MetadataThreshold property is the number of results that have to be returned with that property in order to do refinement.  If you are familiar with the schema used by Faceted Search, you will see a similar concept with the CustomFilter elements.  These allow you map a value into something more readable.  For example instead of display xlsx, it displays Excel. 

One more thing I will point out is that the Category element has a Type attribute.  So far I have seen ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator and TaxonomyFilterGenerator.  These both inherit from RefinementFilterGenerator.  None of its sealed surprisingly which means you could actually write your own custom filter for the refinement web part.  That’s pretty cool.  I’m not sure why I would need to yet, but you never know what you might want to be able to customize.

I want to add my own managed property, so I just add a category to the end like this.

<Category    Title="Color"    Description="Use this filter to restrict results by color" Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    SortBy="Frequency"    SortByForMoreFilters="Name"    SortDirection="Descending"    SortDirectionForMoreFilters="Ascending"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="Color"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer"    />

All I did was copy the category that was used for author and it works great.  You can tweak the individual settings if you like.  Here is what my custom managed property looks like.

RefinementColor

How does this all work though.  Well it’s pretty simple.  Just copy any link that the web part displays and we’ll see that it makes use of the new r query string property.  It will be URL encoded but you can easily decode it and see the magic.  In this case if I want to view Red products, the query string has a r parameter of the following.

r=color="Red"

If I wanted to view files modified in the last 24 hours, it uses the new >= operator.

r=write>="3/14/2010”

Don’t you just love that you can easily query against dates now using the keyword query syntax?  I think the r keyword is very interesting and I think it opens the door for some very interesting customizations of the search results page in the future.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is a consultant at Hitachi Consulting specializing in SharePoint and Office 365 for clients in the energy sector. He has more than ten years of experience delivering solutions in the energy, travel, advertising and consumer electronics verticals.

Corey specializes in delivering ECM and search solutions to clients using SharePoint. Corey has always focused on rapid adoption of new Microsoft technologies including Visual Studio 2013, Office 365, and SharePoint.

He is a member of the .NET Mafia (www.dotnetmafia.com) where he blogs about the latest technology and SharePoint. He is dedicated to the community and speaks regularly at user groups and SharePoint Saturdays.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, discussed the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filterin...
Early adopters of IoT viewed it mainly as a different term for machine-to-machine connectivity or M2M. This is understandable since a prerequisite for any IoT solution is the ability to collect and aggregate device data, which is most often presented in a dashboard. The problem is that viewing data in a dashboard requires a human to interpret the results and take manual action, which doesn’t scale to the needs of IoT.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
"C2M is our digital transformation and IoT platform. We've had C2M on the market for almost three years now and it has a comprehensive set of functionalities that it brings to the market," explained Mahesh Ramu, Vice President, IoT Strategy and Operations at Plasma, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Traditional IT, great for stable systems of record, is struggling to cope with newer, agile systems of engagement requirements coming straight from the business. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, William Morrish, General Manager of Product Sales at Interoute, outlined ways of exploiting new architectures to enable both systems and building them to support your existing platforms, with an eye for the future. Technologies such as Docker and the hyper-convergence of computing, networking and sto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
Much of IT terminology is often misused and misapplied. Modernization and transformation are two such terms. They are often used interchangeably even though they mean different things and have very different connotations. Indeed, it is somewhat safe to assume that in IT any transformative effort is likely to also have a modernizing effect, and thus, we can see these as levels of improvement efforts. However, many businesses are being led to believe if they don’t transform now they risk becoming ...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.