Export (0) Print
Expand All

Plan hybrid search for SharePoint Server 2013

SharePoint 2013
 

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Online

Topic Last Modified: 2014-07-10

Summary: Plan to configure a SharePoint hybrid environment so that user searches from a Search Center display hybrid results.

A SharePoint hybrid environment enables you to provide hybrid solutions that integrate functionality and data access between services and features of SharePoint Online in Office 365 and an on-premises deployment of SharePoint Server 2013. In the final phase of the SharePoint hybrid deployment process, you configure one or more hybrid solutions, such as SharePoint hybrid search. With SharePoint hybrid search, user searches from a Search Center display hybrid results—that is, results from both the SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Online search indexes.

In this article:

You can set up SharePoint hybrid search so that it works in either or both of the following two ways:

You can set up either search configuration first, and then optionally also set up the other one at any time. An environment that includes both of these search configurations is said to provide two-way hybrid search because it requires a two-way hybrid authentication topology. For more information, see Plan a two-way hybrid topology.

Watch a video about some of the main concepts behind hybrid SharePoint Search. (Length: 9 minutes 20 seconds)

Video (play button) icon

How do you decide whether to set up hybrid search in the on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 farm (outbound hybrid search), or in SharePoint Online (inbound hybrid search), or both? That can depend in part on which deployment users are working in, what content they will need, and where that content is stored.

Outbound hybrid search is generally the simplest and least expensive hybrid search solution to configure, primarily because it doesn't require configuration of a reverse proxy device. It is also generally the safest hybrid search solution because, unlike inbound hybrid search, it doesn't involve receiving unsolicited calls from the Internet.

For the convenience of users, it can be beneficial to set up hybrid search in the deployment where most users are working. That way, users don’t have to go to the remote deployment to search for content.

For performance reasons, it can be beneficial to set up hybrid search in the deployment where most of the content is stored. If most of the search results are from the local deployment, the overall query latency is likely to be less (all other things being equal) than if many results are from the remote deployment. Also, in general, when a user clicks a search result for local content, the response time to open that content will be faster than it would be to open content that is stored remotely. This is especially true for large files.

It can be reasonable to set up hybrid search in both deployments under any of the following circumstances:

  • Many users are working in one deployment and many other users are working in the other deployment.

  • Much of the content is in one deployment and much is in the other deployment.

  • Most users are working in one deployment and most of the content is in the other deployment.

ImportantImportant:
If there is content in your on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 farm that you don't want users of SharePoint Online to be able to view due to regulatory or legal or geopolitical constraints, then you should not set up any hybrid search in SharePoint Online that could return results that include that SharePoint Server 2013 content. For more information, see Delete items from the search index or from search results in SharePoint Server 2013.

This section covers the phases of the hybrid deployment process that you have to complete before you perform each of the possible SharePoint hybrid search configurations.

In this section:

Before you can configure the SharePoint Server 2013 farm to display hybrid search results, you have to configure a one-way outbound hybrid topology and configure identity management. These phases are shown in the following illustration.

This figure illustrates stage 4 of hybrid deployment that does no use a reverse proxy

Specifically, you have to complete the procedures described in the following articles, and in the following order:

 

123 steps

In addition, you have to do both of the following:

  • Perform at least one crawl in the SharePoint Server 2013 deployment, so that there is content in the SharePoint Server 2013 search index. (The SharePoint Online content must also be crawled, but you don't have to attend to that because SharePoint Online crawls its content automatically.) For more information, see Manage crawling in SharePoint Server 2013.

  • Create an enterprise Search Center in the SharePoint Server 2013 deployment by using the Enterprise Search Center template to create a new site collection. For more information, see Create a Search Center site in SharePoint Server 2013.

The following diagram shows the SharePoint hybrid one-way outbound authentication topology. This is the minimum prerequisite topology for searches from the SharePoint Server 2013 Search Center to get search results from both deployments. With this topology, searches from the SharePoint Online Search Center can still get search results only from the SharePoint Online deployment.

SharePoint hybrid one-way outbound authentication topology

Diagram of outbound topology for hybrid search

For related diagrams and information, download Which hybrid topology should I use? For SharePoint Server 2013 with Office 365 from the Microsoft Download Center.

Before you can configure SharePoint Online to display hybrid search results, you have to configure a one-way inbound hybrid topology, configure a reverse proxy, and configure identity management. These phases are shown in the following illustration.

Stage four of a SharePoint hybrid deployment

Specifically, you have to complete the procedures described in the following articles, and in the following order:

 

123 steps

In addition, you have to perform at least one crawl in the SharePoint Server 2013 deployment, so that there is content in the SharePoint Server 2013 search index. (The SharePoint Online content must also be crawled, but you don't have to attend to that because SharePoint Online crawls its content automatically.) For more information, see Manage crawling in SharePoint Server 2013.

The following diagram shows the SharePoint hybrid one-way inbound authentication topology. This is the minimum prerequisite topology for searches from the SharePoint Online Search Center to get search results from the search indexes of both deployments. With this topology, searches from the SharePoint Server 2013 Search Center can still get search results only from the SharePoint Server 2013 search index.

SharePoint hybrid one-way inbound authentication topology

Diagram of inbound topology for hybrid search

For related diagrams and information, download Which hybrid topology should I use? For SharePoint Server 2013 with Office 365 from the Microsoft Download Center.

If you want to configure both the SharePoint Server 2013 farm and SharePoint Online to display hybrid search results, first you have to configure a two-way hybrid topology, configure a reverse proxy, and configure identity management. These phases are shown in the following illustration.

Stage four of a SharePoint hybrid deployment

Specifically, you have to complete the procedures described in the following articles, and in the following order:

 

123 steps

In addition, you have to do both of the following:

  • Perform at least one crawl in the SharePoint Server 2013 deployment, so that there is content in the SharePoint Server 2013 search index. (The SharePoint Online content must also be crawled, but you don't have to attend to that because SharePoint Online crawls its content automatically.) For more information, see Manage crawling in SharePoint Server 2013.

  • Create an enterprise Search Center in the SharePoint Server 2013 deployment by using the Enterprise Search Center template to create a new site collection. For more information, see Create a Search Center site in SharePoint Server 2013.

The following diagram shows the SharePoint hybrid two-way authentication topology. With this topology, searches from either Search Center can get results from the search indexes of both deployments.

SharePoint hybrid two-way authentication topology

Diagram of two-way topology for hybrid search

For related diagrams and information, download Which hybrid topology should I use? For SharePoint Server 2013 with Office 365 from the Microsoft Download Center.

In this section:

Before you deploy hybrid search, we strongly recommend that you test local search in whichever deployments you plan to deploy hybrid search, such as in SharePoint Online or in the on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 farm. At that time, troubleshoot any issues that arise that are related to local search, until you have local search working smoothly. That way, if search-related issues arise after you deploy hybrid search, you might have a better idea whether those issues might be attributable to hybrid search.

For example, in hybrid search, search results from the two deployments are displayed synchronously, which means that no results are displayed until results from both deployments are available. For this reason, if there is significant query latency, it is not likely to be immediately evident whether getting results from one deployment or the other is causing the lag. Therefore, before you deploy hybrid search, test local search performance to determine benchmarks for query latency. You can do this by running tests that simulate the user query load. Then try the same tests after you deploy hybrid search. If there is an increase in query latency after you deploy hybrid search, it might be due to a delay in getting search results from the remote deployment. The remote deployment might be slow to respond, or there might be network-related delays caused by factors such as low network bandwidth or geographical distance between the two deployments.

When you configure either outbound or inbound hybrid search, there are two main steps. You perform these steps in the deployment in which you want users to be able to get hybrid search results. The first step is to create a result source, which specifies where to get remote search results from. For example, if you are configuring outbound search, you create a result source in the SharePoint Server 2013 farm that specifies SharePoint Online as the remote provider to get search results from. In the second step, you create a query rule. When the query rule fires, it causes search results from content in the remote deployment to be displayed in a separate group, called a result block, on a search results page in the local deployment.

You can create the result source and query rule at the Search service application level in SharePoint Server 2013 (or at the tenant level in SharePoint Online), or at the site collection level, or the site level. If you create the result source at the Search service application level, the result source will be available to any query rule that is created at the same level, and also to any query rule that is created for a site collection or site that is in a web application that consumes the Search service application. Also, if you create the result source and query rule at the Search service application level, then they might be easier to keep track of, and they can generally be recovered in the case of a disaster recovery scenario. However, the advantage of creating the result source and query rule at the site collection level or the site level is that the administrative work of maintaining the result source and query rule is performed at that level, so that the Search service application administrator doesn’t have to attend to it.

In the query rule that you create for hybrid search, you can configure the result block from the remote deployment to be shown at the top of the first page of search results (above all of the results from the local deployment), or to be ranked by relevance compared to the results from the local deployment. For testing and troubleshooting, it's best to show the result block at the top of the first page of search results so that you can readily see it. This makes it easy to verify that results from the remote deployment are being displayed in the result block, and to verify that clicking a result does not result in an error in displaying the target of the search result. When you're done testing and troubleshooting, you can edit the query rule so that the result block is ranked by relevance compared to results from the local deployment. This setting that ranks the result block by relevance compared to local search results is typically more useful for users.

The easiest way to configure hybrid search is to create a query rule in the local deployment that fires and gets results from the remote deployment for any query text. As an alternative that will avoid delays in getting search results from the remote deployment, you can construct one or more query rules that will fire and get search results from the remote deployment only for certain searches, such as searches for which you know that there is relevant content in the remote deployment. For example, if there is content in the remote deployment about using a particular in-house software tool, you can specify conditions in a query rule so that the rule will fire only if a search query contains the name of the tool. When you create a query rule, you can also narrow its scope by specifying that the rule is only to be performed from certain categories (based on terms for topic categories in the term store of a Managed Metadata service application), or by specifying that the rule is only to be performed by users in certain user segments (based on terms that describe users in the term store of a Managed Metadata service application).

With hybrid search, the target of a search result might be a document or site in the remote deployment. After a user clicks such a search result, it might be difficult for the user to know how to get back to the deployment they were working in before or where to go to perform another search. Users can click the Back button in the browser to return to the place they were working in before. However, it can also be helpful to share URLs with users to let them know how to get to sites and Search Centers that they will need to use in the SharePoint hybrid environment.

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback
Show:
© 2015 Microsoft