Thursday, May 29, 2014

Display Templates from my SPC14 and ESPC14 talks

At SPC14 and ESPC14 I used some custom display templates where I slightly changed the default search center UI. Included is:

  • counts to the vertical tabs
  • icons for file formats
  • department refiner for content
  • styled the best bets
  • context wire-up for User Segments triggering in query rules
  • blog post template
  • document link template

The templates work equally well for SharePoint Online as for on-premises.


You can find the templates over at the SPCSR community project at github if you navigate to DisplayTemplates / Search Display Templates / mAdcOW Search Center Templates.

For those interested, check out my ESPC14 slides.

And see David Hollembaek’s and my SPC14 presentation and slide deck over at

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Themes in SharePoint–not 100%



If you look at the above images, the ribbon still has some blue lines. But the right part of the suit bar is fixed.

S15E05: Query Rules – The Basics

Want the book? Go get it!

This is the fifth episode in the series “SharePoint Search Queries Explained - The Series”. See the intro post for links to all episodes.

I want to start out by saying that Query Rules Rule!! And in a big way!

If you are coming from SharePoint 2010 and used keywords for synonyms and best bets in search, then Query Rules is the brand new revved up engine which took it’s place. Think an old Toyota with a 1.4l engine, being replaced by a Tesla Model S (or The Expendables without steroids).

So what is a query rule exactly? When a search query is being executed, one or more query rules can based on specified conditions intercept the query and take actions on it.
The available actions are:
  1. Add promoted results (Best Bets in 2010)
  2. Add one or more result blocks, which are additional groups of results or side results to the original result
  3. Re-write the query
  4. Change the sorting or ranking of the results

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Speaking at SharePoint Connect 2014

At the upcoming SharePoint Connect 2014 in Amsterdam (November 18th-19th) I will do a deep dive into the fun stuff surrounding search – Query Rules, Query Variables and Search Orchestration.


The session will be built around my SharePoint Search Queries Explained series and I will present some good patterns and practises around wiring up content search. When you leave you should have some ideas about how you can optimize and utilize the capabilities in SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online.

The line-up for the conference is pretty good and I’m proud to have the only IT Pro/Dev session. Home in on the single green square on the agenda and you’ve got my slot!

Register now and hope to see you there! Use the discount code SA244 on the last page of registration and get a 10% discount!

Monday, May 26, 2014

S15E04 Result Sources–Scope it out!

Want the book? Go get it!

This is the fourth episode in the series “SharePoint Search Queries Explained - The Series”. See the intro post for links to all episodes.

Result sources are one of the key concepts when it comes to SharePoint search, and they are key to descending where and how a search query is to be executed. If you have previously worked with SharePoint 2010 search, start thinking about scopes and you should be on the right track. But result sources are so much more.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Subtle changes in the suite bar in SharePoint Online

Here’s what it looks like in the old version (v16.0.0.2811):
And here’s the new one (v16.0.0.2902):
As you can see the white has gone gray, and the part to the right has gone from gray to light blue. All in all making the suite bar a bit more subtle.

But this time the CSS class names were not changed - phew!

[Update as per Oliver’s comment]

Seems there is a bug with the new theme. If I try a composed look it looks like this.


The top right does not change.. .we have a bug “again” people :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I’m on a PowerTrip

imageBack at the MVP Summit in November 2013 there was this plinko game where you could win awesome prizes. The coolest hardware wise was some portable Bose speakers which looked awesome. At the end of the MVP party we were a group of 11 people and there were plenty of prizes left, particularly a bunch of those Bose speakers!

So what happened… well 9 out of 11 won the Bose speakers, while Jeremy Thake and I won ourselves a PowerTrip by PowerStick instead. At the time I felt really really bummed. But that was then!



The PowerTrip is portable USB charger, and a gadget I use now use frequently. It charges my phone and my Kindle all the time. It charges a lot faster than my wall plugged charger, packs 5700mAh which lasts for 3-4 full phone charges, and can itself be charged via wall socket, USB or even solar panel.

My phone is an old Nokia Lumia 800 which is desperate need of a new battery, so being able to hook it up to this charging brick is a big bonus for me. I have also let other people borrow it at airports when travelling, without being afraid they will drain it.

So, if you have some space in your bag for a portable charger, this one is definitely one to get!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Employees in multiple time zones? Make sure your calendars work as expected

When setting up SharePoint 2013 a user does not have a specific time zone set in their user profile, but will pick up the regional settings defined by site administrators.
What this means is that the regional settings from the site will be used when you enter dates and times.
Regional settings for a site can be found at:
https://<site url>/_layouts/15/regionalsetng.aspx
If a site has UTC+1 as the time zone, then start end times of a calendar entry will be saved using this time zone if the user hasn’t specifically set the time zone for him/herself.
If a person works in the Pacific time zone in the US, have never seen the time zone setting on the user profile page (because it’s well hidden), and enters a calendar appointment in a site set up for Central European time zone, then you are up shits creek. The appointment will list fine for the people who live in CET, but for the person entering the appointment, the start time is 9 hours wrong, which could be an issue.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

S15E03 Query Variables – Constant Trouble

Want the book? Go get it!

This is the third episode in the series “SharePoint Search Queries Explained - The Series”. See the intro post for links to all episodes.

The basis for doing query transformations in Result Sources, Query Rules and in search web parts is to specify KQL queries, and doing so dynamically is a big bonus. This is where Query Variables come into play. Knowing KQL syntax and variable usage will enable you to craft a query for just about anything – as long as you also know the managed properties to query against which is a topic by itself.
As an example the Local SharePoint Results result source is specified as

{?{searchTerms} -ContentClass=urn:content-class:SPSPeople}

The variable parts are the ones enclosed with braces {}. {searchTerms} will for example be substituted with the query terms coming in. If you search for

author:"mikael svenson"

the final query sent to the search engine will be expanded to 
author:"mikael svenson" -ContentClass=urn:content-class:SPSPeople

As for the {?..} notation enclosing the full statement, this means that if the variables inside this statement are blank or empty then everything between {? and the matching end brace } will be omitted from the expanded query. If an empty query comes in, the final query is blank and not


as everything is removed due to {searchTerms} being empty. This is a very powerful and important notation to know. Use it around any variable which might be empty to ensure a valid query syntax, and I will gives several samples later in this episode as well.