Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Get to know the Refinement Web Part in SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Search

In MOSS 2007, people often extending the search results experience by using the Faceted Search Web Parts.  People really liked these so it looks like Microsoft decided to implement their own version called the RefinementWebPart (also known as the Refinement Panel).  If you are familiar with the Faceted Search Web Parts at all, you will notice there are a lot of similarities in the way things are implemented.  If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, it’s this web part that allows users to drill down into a set of search results based upon managed properties and other criteria.  Let’s take a look at a quick example.

RefinementDefault

On the left there, you will see a set of refinements that we get out of the box.  I didn’t have to do anything to configure these at all.  There are a number of refinements built in including file type, site, author, modified date, and taxonomy.  You can also easily create your own based on managed property which we will see here shortly. 

Let’s take a look at some of the options on this web part.  If we edit the page and then edit the web part, we will be able to see the options.  If you’re on a small screen (or a small window in the case of a  VM), you will have to scroll right to see the web part properties.

RefinementWebPartProperties1

Since this is a search web part, you will see the familiar Cross-Web Part query ID.  This should be synced up to whatever else you are using on the page.  Usually it is set to User query.  The next section is where we can configure the refinement.  Make note of the Use Default Configuration checkbox.  If you don’t uncheck this, anything you customize will not be saved.  Each thing that you can filter on is called a category by the RefinementWebPart.  The Filter Category Definition property is an XML field where each category is specified.  We’ll also look at that later in the post.  Other properties to note here.  The Accuracy Index is the number of results it looks at to determine things to refine.  I assume this it mainly there to keep things performing well.  What this does mean is that if there is something unique to refine on but it doesn’t occur until result number 51, then it will not be included.  You can also configure how many categories to display. This is set to 6 by default.  The last thing I will point out is that you can configure how the web part displays its information using XSLT (not shown in the screenshot above).

Now let’s look at how we can add our own managed property to the category list.  You should of course confirm the managed property works and that you can query on it first (do a full crawl if necessary).  We then, just need to take a look at the XML for the Filter Category Definition.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<FilterCategories>

  <Category    Title="Result Type"    Description="The file extension of the item"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4"    MaxNumberOfFilters="0"    SortBy="Frequency"    SortDirection="Descending"    SortByForMoreFilters="Name"    SortDirectionForMoreFilters="Ascending"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="FileExtension"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer">

    <CustomFilters MappingType="ValueMapping" DataType="String" ValueReference="Absolute" ShowAllInMore="False">

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Adobe PDF">

        <OriginalValue>pdf</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Email">

        <OriginalValue>eml</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>msg</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>exch</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Excel">

        <OriginalValue>odc</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>ods</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>xls</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>xlsb</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>xlsm</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>xlsx</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Image">

        <OriginalValue>tif</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>tiff</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Lotus Notes">

        <OriginalValue>nsf</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="One Note">

        <OriginalValue>one</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="PowerPoint">

        <OriginalValue>odp</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>ppt</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>pptm</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>pptx</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Publisher">

        <OriginalValue>pub</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Text">

        <OriginalValue>odt</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>txt</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>url</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>csv</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Visio">

        <OriginalValue>vdw</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vdx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vsd</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vss</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vst</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vsx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>vtx</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Webpage">

        <OriginalValue>ascx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>asp</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>aspx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>htm</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>html</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>jhtml</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>js</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>mht</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>mhtml</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>mspx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>php</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue></OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="XML">

        <OriginalValue>xml</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Word">

        <OriginalValue>doc</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>docm</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>docx</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>dot</OriginalValue>

        <OriginalValue>nws</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Zip">

        <OriginalValue>zip</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

    </CustomFilters>

  </Category>

  <Category    Title="Site"    Description="Which site this document is from"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    SortBy="Frequency"    SortByForMoreFilters="Name"    SortDirection="Descending"    SortDirectionForMoreFilters="Ascending"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="SiteName"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer" />

  <Category    Title="Author"    Description="Use this filter to restrict results authored by a specific author"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    SortBy="Frequency"    SortByForMoreFilters="Name"    SortDirection="Descending"    SortDirectionForMoreFilters="Ascending"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="Author"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer"    />

  <Category    Title="Modified Date"    Description="When the item was last updated"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="6"    MaxNumberOfFilters="0"    SortBy="Custom"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="Write"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer" >

    <CustomFilters MappingType="RangeMapping" DataType="Date" ValueReference="Relative" ShowAllInMore="False">

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past 24 Hours">

        <OriginalValue>-1..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past Week">

        <OriginalValue>-7..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past Month">

        <OriginalValue>-30..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past Six Months">

        <OriginalValue>-183..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Past Year">

        <OriginalValue>-365..</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

      <CustomFilter CustomValue="Earlier">

        <OriginalValue>..-365</OriginalValue>

      </CustomFilter>

    </CustomFilters>

  </Category>

  <Category    Title="Managed Metadata Columns"    Description="Managed metadata of the documents"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.TaxonomyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="3"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="3"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="ows_MetadataFacetInfo"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer" />

  <Category    Title="Tags"    Description="All managed metadata of the documents and social tags"    Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.TaxonomyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="3"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="3"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="ows_MetadataFacetInfo,popularsocialtags"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer" />

</FilterCategories>

I went ahead and posted the entire XML because it’s worth seeing.  For the most part the schema is pretty easy to follow.  The Category element defines each thing to refine and then it has some basic configuration items such as the number of filters to display.  You specify the name of the managed property to use in the MappedProperty attribute.  The MetadataThreshold property is the number of results that have to be returned with that property in order to do refinement.  If you are familiar with the schema used by Faceted Search, you will see a similar concept with the CustomFilter elements.  These allow you map a value into something more readable.  For example instead of display xlsx, it displays Excel. 

One more thing I will point out is that the Category element has a Type attribute.  So far I have seen ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator and TaxonomyFilterGenerator.  These both inherit from RefinementFilterGenerator.  None of its sealed surprisingly which means you could actually write your own custom filter for the refinement web part.  That’s pretty cool.  I’m not sure why I would need to yet, but you never know what you might want to be able to customize.

I want to add my own managed property, so I just add a category to the end like this.

<Category    Title="Color"    Description="Use this filter to restrict results by color" Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator"    MetadataThreshold="5"    NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4"    MaxNumberOfFilters="20"    SortBy="Frequency"    SortByForMoreFilters="Name"    SortDirection="Descending"    SortDirectionForMoreFilters="Ascending"    ShowMoreLink="True"    MappedProperty="Color"    MoreLinkText="show more"    LessLinkText="show fewer"    />

All I did was copy the category that was used for author and it works great.  You can tweak the individual settings if you like.  Here is what my custom managed property looks like.

RefinementColor

How does this all work though.  Well it’s pretty simple.  Just copy any link that the web part displays and we’ll see that it makes use of the new r query string property.  It will be URL encoded but you can easily decode it and see the magic.  In this case if I want to view Red products, the query string has a r parameter of the following.

r=color="Red"

If I wanted to view files modified in the last 24 hours, it uses the new >= operator.

r=write>="3/14/2010”

Don’t you just love that you can easily query against dates now using the keyword query syntax?  I think the r keyword is very interesting and I think it opens the door for some very interesting customizations of the search results page in the future.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is an independent consultant specializing in Cloud technologies such as Azure and Office 365. He also specializes in mobile development. Corey serves as the product manager for two cloud-first mobile app platforms: BrewZap and HappenZap.

Latest Stories
This session will provide an introduction to Cloud driven quality and transformation and highlight the key features that comprise it. A perspective on the cloud transformation lifecycle, transformation levers, and transformation framework will be shared. At Cognizant, we have developed a transformation strategy to enable the migration of business critical workloads to cloud environments. The strategy encompasses a set of transformation levers across the cloud transformation lifecycle to enhance ...
Your job is mostly boring. Many of the IT operations tasks you perform on a day-to-day basis are repetitive and dull. Utilizing automation can improve your work life, automating away the drudgery and embracing the passion for technology that got you started in the first place. In this presentation, I'll talk about what automation is, and how to approach implementing it in the context of IT Operations. Ned will discuss keys to success in the long term and include practical real-world examples. Ge...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
So the dumpster is on fire. Again. The site's down. Your boss's face is an ever-deepening purple. And you begin debating whether you should join the #incident channel or call an ambulance to deal with his impending stroke. Yes, we know this is a developer's fault. There's plenty of time for blame later. Postmortems have a macabre name because they were once intended to be Viking-like funerals for someone's job. But we're civilized now. Sort of. So we call them post-incident reviews. Fires are ne...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
Hackers took three days to identify and exploit a known vulnerability in Equifax’s web applications. I will share new data that reveals why three days (at most) is the new normal for DevSecOps teams to move new business /security requirements from design into production. This session aims to enlighten DevOps teams, security and development professionals by sharing results from the 4th annual State of the Software Supply Chain Report -- a blend of public and proprietary data with expert researc...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 12-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI and Machine Learning to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, softwar...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
The digital transformation is real! To adapt, IT professionals need to transform their own skillset to become more multi-dimensional by gaining both depth and breadth of a wide variety of knowledge and competencies. Historically, while IT has been built on a foundation of specialty (or "I" shaped) silos, the DevOps principle of "shifting left" is opening up opportunities for developers, operational staff, security and others to grow their skills portfolio, advance their careers and become "T"-sh...
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of computational needs for many industries. Their solutions provide benefits across many environments, such as datacenter deployment, HPC, workstations, storage networks and standalone server installations. ICC has been in business for over 23 years and their phenomenal range of clients include multinational corporations, universities, and small busines...
This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps, the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will result in an improved ability to design, develop, deploy and operate software and services faster.
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...