Working with Federation (Office SharePoint Server)
Updated: July 31, 2008
Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007
Unless otherwise noted, the information in this article applies to Office SharePoint Server 2007 with the Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers.
In Office SharePoint Server 2007 with the Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers installed, federation enables end users to issue a query that searches multiple sources and displays results in separate Web Parts on a single search results page. These sources can be enterprise content repositories, other search engines, or portions of your Office SharePoint Server 2007 index. Using federation enables you to provide more extensive query results for your users without devoting your server resources to crawling and indexing content.
The following articles provide information to help you understand and use federation.
The following articles provide an introduction to federation.
Federating search results from other locations (Office SharePoint Server) This article introduces federation concepts and features.
Set up a federation connector (Office SharePoint Server) This article explains how to locate a data source in your enterprise or on the Web that provides information that your users need, and how to connect to the data source by using federation.
Federated Search Overview (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=111617) This article provides a more technical overview of federation concepts. It discusses the differences between indexing and federation, the details of a federated location, representation of federation to the end user, and programmatic access to federation.
Plan the end-user search experience (Office SharePoint Server) This article provides information about how you can use federation to help end users quickly find the information they need.
Building or customizing a federated connector
The following technical articles on MSDN discuss common federation customizations and guide the technical administrator or developer in creating more complex federated connectors. A complex connector is required when the source is not the local search index and does not natively provide a searchable feed. These articles were written for Search Server 2008 but also apply to Office SharePoint Server 2007 with the Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers installed.
Architecture Guidance for Building Federated Search Connectors (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=111080) This article discusses requirements for creating a federated connector and provides some architectural guidance.
Customizing the Search User Interface (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=123770) This article contains multiple topics that address the most common visual customization scenarios for federation. The article walks you through the rendering transformation (XSLT) for federated locations and describes customizations you can use to change how the results are displayed in the federated search Web Parts.
Location Definition File Schema Reference (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=111092) This article discusses each element of the federated location definition schema. The article explains how locations are defined and how to create raw location definition (.fld) files.
Creating a Custom Federated Search Web Part with a Credentials UI (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=111093) This article explains how to create a user interface that collects user credentials for federated locations.
Connector examples and code samples
The following technical articles on MSDN provide examples of federated connectors to sources that do not have searchable feeds. The articles include code samples and walkthroughs. These articles were written for Search Server 2008 but also apply to Office SharePoint Server 2007 with the Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers installed.
SQL Server Database Federated Connector Sample (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=111083) This article includes a code sample to walk you through creating a federated connector to a SQL database.
HTML to RSS Federated Connector Sample (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=123772) This article includes a code sample to help explain how to create a federated connector that converts HTML into an RSS feed that can be consumed by a federated location.
Federation Code Samples (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=123773) This MSDN code gallery provides samples of federation connector code that is used in MSDN articles.
The following articles address issues that you may encounter while you are configuring federated locations.
Configure proxy settings for federated sources (Office SharePoint Server) This article explains how to specify a proxy server for federation so that the server does not block federated queries.
Repair federated locations (Office SharePoint Server) This article provides troubleshooting information for resolving common configuration issues related to federation.