SharePoint 2007’s search engine has undergone huge improvements from SharePoint 2003; however, the typical user might not realize the power of SharePoint Search. In my experience, most users use search by running simple queries. While this gets the job done, there are a number of standard features available to users in SharePoint search that can help to both find information (advanced/property search), and keep abreast of information changes (search alerts).
By clicking on ‘Advanced Search’ to the right of SharePoint’s search box, a user will be taken to a query builder. As seen below in Screenshot 1, it allows users to specify terms to include/exclude, search by language, and search by property values. For instance, I could search for all of the documents that I have authored about SharePoint, excluding anything with the terms ‘2003’ or ‘contest’ by using the query seen in Screenshot 1 below, with the results shown in Screenshot 2. I can achieve the same results by simply typing this query into the search text box:
SharePoint -2003 -contest author: “Jeremy Williams”
As you can see in the results, it has returned documents that contain the term SharePoint, and removed any results that contained 2003 or contest. Also, it has only returned documents where my name is included in the Author tag. Please note: some of the documents have others listed as the ‘author’. This is indeed accurate and expected; in those cases, the indicated user is the original author of the document and I have (at some point in time) edited that document, so my name is now associated with it as an author too.
Screenshot 1 - Advanced Query Builder
Screenshot 2 - Search results
Screenshot 3 – Create a new SharePoint Search Alert