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Content Search and Property Mapping

A SharePoint Online tutorial by Peter Kalmström

SharePoint iconThe SharePoint Content Search web part searches anything from the index of the entire tenancy to a specified URL, and it can be used for all purposes when you want to collect certain data and display it on a page.

NOTE: Microsoft has stopped indexing the managed properties, so now we instead recommend creating all list columns as site columns or site columns in the Content Type Hub site. If you create columns in that way, the search engine will start indexing those values automatically.

This article will be removed as soon as the book SharePoint Online from Scratch has been updated. The book has a link to this article, and by keeping it for now we can reach all book readers with the new information.

SharePoint Online from Scratch has info about site columns and the Content Type Hub, and you can also learn about the Hub at  https://www.kalmstrom.com/Tips/SharePoint-Online-Course/SharePoint-Meetings-Hub.htm

The conditions for the content search are specified in a query page, which has a preview so that you can make sure you get the correct search results.

The Content Search web part can be customized in many ways, and in the demo below Peter Kalmstrom, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, shows how Property mappings can be used to specify how column data should be displayed in the web part.

SharePoint Property Mappings

Peter's example is a Consultants list, and he lets the Content Search web part show only consultants that are tagged for work with a specific department. He also selects to display the consultants in a slideshow.

Add a Content Search web part that shows a slideshow of IT-consultants with photo, name, e-mail address and comments

For this to work you must have a Consultants list or similar with people's photos, names, e-mail addresses and comments, and each item in the list must have the tag you want the Content Search web part to search for. Such tags can easily be added in the Quick Edit display view mode.
  1. Open the page where you want to add the Content Search web part in Edit mode.
  2. Click on the Web Part button under the ribbon INSERT tab and select the Content Search in the Content Rollup category. Click on Add.
  3. Edit the web part and click on the 'Change query' button.
  4. Select the query 'Items matching a tag (System)'. Restrict to the Consultants list (remove the view part of the URL) and the tag IT. Click OK.
  5. Set the number of items to show.
  6. Select the Slideshow Display Template.
  7. Open the Property Mappings accordion and check the box for 'Change the mappings...'.
  8. Select from the Managed Properites what column information to show on each line.
  9. Click on Apply and Save the page.

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