Friday, January 21, 2011

Decks and Source Code from January 19th TSPUG Meeting

Thanks to all who came to Wednesday’s TSPUG meet up. I’ve uploaded a package with presentation and source code files. I was able to resolve the first of the questions unanswered during my previous talk about SharePoint search technologies. Although I meant to show it, I didn’t get to talk much about promoting user profile properties for selection in FAST user context for visual best bets. Basically as Steve Peschka has pointed out,  the first thing that needs to be done is permissions granted to the profile store. This will let you see the list of properties in his Property Explorer tool. Secondly, to promote profile properties to be available for selection in FAST Search user context administration section you need to edit value of FASTSearchContextProperties property of FAST Query search service application (SSA). I wrote a command-line utility for this purpose, which can be invoked as follows:

FASTProfilePropertyUpdater.exe –ssaId <FAST query SSA Guid> -action Add|Remove -property <User Profile property name>

Code fragment below demonstrates how SSA reference is acquired and the “Add” operation is accomplished. Full source code is a part of the package. Ideally you want to use PowerShell script to manage this, I just wrote an executable as it was easier to get it working quickly for me.

SPFarm farm = SPFarm.Local;
var settingsService = SPFarm.Local.Services.GetValue<SearchQueryAndSiteSettingsService>();
var serviceApp = settingsService.Applications[ssaId];
var searchApp = serviceApp as SearchServiceApplication;

if (null == searchApp)
"Cannot find search service application with the ID '{0}'.",
return 2;

string properties = (String)searchApp.Properties[FASTSearchContextProperties];
"Updating service application properties for property key '{0}'... Value before update was: '{1}'",
List<string> propertiesList = properties.Split(',').
Select(p => p.Trim()).ToList();

if (ContextPropertyActions.Add == action &&
properties.IndexOf(propertyName, StringComparison.Ordinal) < 0)
properties = string.Join(",", propertiesList.ToArray());
searchApp.Properties[FASTSearchContextProperties] = properties;
Console.WriteLine("Property added. Updated value is: '{0}'.", properties);
return 0;

Also in the package is the source code for a web part demonstrating how to dynamically boost search relevance ranking from within an FQL query by using XRANK keyword.The demo of this web part didn’t go well, but the code is actually working (I dragged the wrong web part to the page during presentation!). Also someone has asked me about proximity-based filtering of results in FAST query language. Yes this is possible  - there is a number of keywords that support this.

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