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Content Source not available for Scope rules in FAST Query Search Service Applications?

FAST ESP used “Collections” as boundaries for portions of the index. Crawlers for different content sources could placed content in different collections which could then be used in queries in a manner similar to Scopes in SharePoint Search.

With SharePoint Search, the content source could be used in rules defining a scope. However, with the FAST Query Search Service Application (SSA), the content source option is not available for creating scope rules. The only options are:


This seems to be a serious limitation until one digs a little deeper. Actually, in the FAST Search for SharePoint (FS4SP) index, ContentSource is a Managed Property and is available to use as a Property Query in creating a scope rule:


Managed Properties normally have Crawled Properties mapped to them and the values are actually contained within the crawled properties. ContentSource is different in that there are no crawled properties mapped to it and the name of the content source in the FAST Content SSA is placed directly in the Managed Property field for each item in the index. This will permit creating a scope to limit the results of a query to a specific set of content. However, since SharePoint scopes are filters for queries in FS4SP, scopes cannot be used to retrieve query results from more than one content source. Scopes are always applied with an “AND” operator which means that results would need to exist in all scopes used in the query to appear in the search results.

However, the Managed Property can be used directly in a query to retrieve results from multiple content sources. The query “<keyword> ContentSource:Internet OR ContentSource:Intranet” would return items containing the keyword from both content sources. It could also be used to eliminate a particular content source in the query “<keyword> NOT ContentSource:Internet”

In the FS4SP index, the ContentSource Managed Property is configured by default as:


Note that the property is not configured to be sortable (SortableType = SortableDisabled) or to be used to be used in Refinement Web parts (RefinementEnabled = False). These settings can be changed with PowerShell cmdlets but all content must be re-fed or recrawled for the changes to take effect.

Adding ContentSource to a refiner would permit the user to filter search results without re-submitting the query. Enabling Sortable would permit the ContentSource to be added in the sorting Web part on search results pages so that users could choose to sort the search results by Content Source.

Content Source may be a more useful metadata in some environments than others. Content Sources are normally used more to refine the crawling schedules than to group segments of content.


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About Daniel Webster