I have a bit of a problem with Advanced Search in SharePoint – it’s very awkward to use.
When I perform a standard search in SharePoint, it shows me what I’ve been searching for:
That’s good – it’s useful to know what you’ve searched for. If I then click on ‘Advanced’ the advanced search page opens showing my search term, and a number of other fields I can fill in for a more specific search.
If I then run that search, though, I get the following results page:
Okay, now that is a little odd looking. There is no search term in the search input box. This is perhaps not surprising – the advanced search screen can express more complex queries than the text input box of the simple search control. However, there is nothing to tell you what the results are of. You have no idea what the search was that gave these results!
Worse happens if you try to go back to your advanced search page. Unless you use the browser’s Back button, you will lose your current query. There is no obvious way of ‘refining’ an advanced query.
It looks like this is happening because the simple Search box passes it’s parameters in the URL as GET parameters, but the Advance Search page uses a postback-then-forward approach.
Is it too much to ask for to have a web part that describes what the conditions of an advanced search are, and to store that query to pass back to the Advanced Search page, should the user wish to refine their query.