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Deploy people search in SharePoint Server 2013

Published: October 16, 2012

Summary: Learn how to set up SharePoint people search so that users can find people in the organization and the documents that they have authored.

Applies to:  SharePoint Server 2013 

In this article:

Before you begin

note Note:

Because SharePoint 2013 runs as websites in Internet Information Services (IIS), administrators and users depend on the accessibility features that browsers provide. SharePoint 2013 supports the accessibility features of supported browsers. For more information, see the following resources:

People search prerequisites

People search has the following prerequisites:

For more information, see Overview of profile synchronization in SharePoint Server 2013 and Plan profile synchronization for SharePoint Server 2013.

The following sections describe how to deploy and provide data for people search.

Set up people search

To set up people search, you must configure My Sites settings and configure crawling.

Configure My Sites settings

You configure My Sites for a User Profile service application to specify the My Site Host location and other settings. For more information, see Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server 2013 and Configure My Site settings for the User Profile service application.

After you configure My Sites settings, the next step is to configure crawling.

Configure crawling

When you configure My Sites, the default content access account for search is automatically given Retrieve People Data for Search Crawlers permissions in the User Profile service application. If you want to use a different content access account to crawl the profile store, you must make sure that the account has permissions to crawl the profile store. Use the following procedure to grant access to the profile store for a different account.

To grant access to an account to crawl the profile store

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is an administrator for the Search service application.

  2. Start SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2008 R2:

      • Click Start, click Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2012:

      • On the Start screen, click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

        If SharePoint 2013 Central Administration is not on the Start screen:

      • Right-click Computer, click All apps, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    For more information about how to interact with Windows Server 2012, see Common Management Tasks and Navigation in Windows Server 2012.

  3. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  4. On the Manage Service Applications page, click the row that contains the User Profile service application, and then in the ribbon, click Administrators.

  5. In the Administrators for User Profile Service Application dialog box, in the To add an account box, type a user account in the form domain\user name.

  6. Click Add.

  7. In the Permissions list, select the Retrieve People Data for Search Crawlers check box.

  8. Click OK.

After you give the account access to crawl the profile store, you must create a crawl rule to specify that you want to use that account when you crawl the profile store. Use the following procedure to create a crawl rule for this purpose.

To create a crawl rule to authenticate to the User Profile service application

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is an administrator for the Search service application.

  2. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  3. On the Manage Service Applications page, click the Search service application for which you want to create a crawl rule.

  4. On the Search Administration page, in the Quick Launch, in the Crawling section, click Crawl Rules.

  5. On the Manage Crawl Rules page, click New Crawl Rule.

  6. In the Path section, in the Path box, type the start address for the User Profile service application in the form sps3://<hostname>, where <hostname> is the URL for the Web application where you deployed the My Sites site collection.

  7. Click Use regular expression syntax for matching this rule if you want to use regular expression syntax in the path.

  8. In the Crawl Configuration section, select Include all items in this path.

  9. In the Specify Authentication section, select Specify a different content access account.

  10. In the Account box that appears, type the user account to which you gave access to the profile store in the form domain\user name.

  11. Type the password for the account that you specified in the Password and Confirm Password boxes.

  12. Clear the Do not allow Basic Authentication check box only if you want to allow the user account credentials to be sent as plaintext.

    note Note:

    You should not clear the Do not allow Basic Authentication check box unless you are using SSL to encrypt the website traffic. For more information, see Plan for user authentication methods in SharePoint 2013.

  13. Click OK.

For more information, see Manage crawl rules in SharePoint Server 2013.

When you configure My Sites, the starting URL to crawl the profile store (sps3://<hostname>) is automatically added to the default content source. We recommend that you remove the URL of the profile store from the default content source and then create a separate content source to crawl only the profile store. This allows you to crawl the profile store on a different schedule from other crawls.

Use the following procedure to remove the URL of the profile store from the default content source.

To remove the profile store URL from the default content source

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is an administrator for the Search service application.

  2. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  3. On the Manage Service Applications page, click Search Service Application.

  4. On the Search Administration page, in the Quick Launch, in the Crawling section, click Content Sources.

  5. On the Manage Content Sources page, click the link to the default content source (Local SharePoint sites).

  6. In the Start Addresses section, remove the URL for the profile store (sps3://<hostname>, where <hostname> is the URL for the web application where you deployed the My Sites site collection).

  7. Click OK.

    Use the following procedure to create a content source that specifies how to crawl the profile store. For more information, see Add, edit, or delete a content source in SharePoint Server 2013.

To create a content source that specifies how to crawl the profile store

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is an administrator for the Search service application.

  2. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  3. On the Manage Service Applications page, click Search Service Application.

  4. On the Search Administration page, in the Quick Launch, in the Crawling section, click Content Sources.

  5. On the Manage Content Sources page, click New Content Source.

  6. On the Add Content Source page, in the Name section, type a name for this content source.

  7. In the Content Source Type section, ensure that SharePoint Sites is selected.

  8. In the Start Addresses section, type the start address in the form sps3://<hostname>, where <hostname> is the URL for the web application where you deployed the My Sites site collection.

  9. In the Crawl Settings section, leave the default value of Crawl everything under the host name for each start address.

  10. In the Crawl Schedules section, do the following:

    • Select Enable Continuous Crawls or Enable Incremental Crawls.

      A continuous crawl automatically provides maximum freshness for the content source without an incremental crawl schedule. For more information, see Manage continuous crawls in SharePoint Server 2013.

      If you select Enable Incremental Crawls, create an incremental crawl schedule.

    • Optionally create a schedule for full crawls.

  11. If you selected Enable Incremental Crawls, in the Content Source Priority section, select the priority for this content source.

    note Note:

    The Content Source Priority section does not appear when you specify the content source type as SharePoint Sites and you select Enable Continuous Crawls.

  12. Click OK.

Add data for people search

To get the best results from people search, you should add as much information as you can by adding user profiles to the profile store and adding information to My Sites.

Add user profiles to the profile store

Before you can obtain meaningful people search results, you must add user profiles to the User Profile service application. You can do this in the following ways:

Important Important:

For a test environment, we recommend that you do not synchronize the profile store to a directory service or other external data source that is in a production environment. Instead, create a copy of the directory service and synchronize the copy with the profile store.

Use the following procedure to view the user profiles in the User Profile service application.

To view a list of user profiles in the User Profile service application

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is an administrator for the User Profile service application.

  2. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  3. On the Manage Service Applications page, click the User Profile service application.

  4. On the Manage Profile Service page, in the People section, click Manage User Profiles.

  5. On the Manage User Profiles page, in the Find profiles box, type the name of the domain of which the users are members.

    Do not type the fully qualified domain name. For example, if users are members of the Contoso.com domain, type Contoso in the Find profiles box.

  6. Click Find.

Add information to My Sites

My Sites keep information in the User Profile service application databases. The User Profile service application stores much of the information that appears in results for people search. People search results become more useful as users add more information to their My Sites.

The first time that a user accesses their My Site, also known as their personal site, a My Site is created for them and a profile is automatically added to the User Profile service application.

To add information to a user's My Site, log on as a user for whom a user profile was created in the User Profile service application, and then go to that user’s My Site. In the user’s My Site, you can provide information about the user’s expertise and interests. To see how the information that you added affects the people search results that appear, perform a crawl of the profile store, and then search on the user's name.

Crawl the profile store

You are now ready to crawl the profile store. For information about how to start the crawl, see Start, pause, resume, or stop a crawl in SharePoint Server 2013.

note Note:

We recommend that you crawl the profile store and wait about two hours after the crawl finishes before you start the first crawl of the default content source (that is, local SharePoint sites). After the crawl of the profile store finishes, the search system generates a list to standardize people's names. This is so that when a person's name has different forms in search results, the results are displayed in a single group corresponding to one name. For example, all documents authored by Anne Weiler or A. Weiler or alias AnneW can be displayed in the search results in a result block that is labeled "Documents by Anne Weiler". Similarly, all documents authored by any of those identities can be displayed under the heading "Anne Weiler" in the refinement panel if "Author" is one of the categories there.

For information about how to view the status of a crawl, see Start, pause, resume, or stop a crawl for a content source.

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