Adding a SharePoint system to the Vista Start menu…

The only thing that I really like about Vista (in a ‘I wouldn’t like to go back to not having this’ way) is the search box in the start menu. To be honest, I’ve stopped clicking to start applications entirely – it works that well.

Well, today, I had a surprise. One of my colleagues asked me to test something for him, and update my Group Policy – so I did:

Then he asked me to search for something in the Vista start menu – and look what I found:

That’s right, a ‘Search SharePoint’ option. Naturally, I tried it – and it searched our internal system:

Great! Not being an admin bod, I don’t entirely know how this was set up, so I asked our admin. He told me that he’d used the Window 2008 Admin Tools Pack. This comes with an applet for Group Policy Management, and he then went into User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows components > Instant Search and that in there you can set up a custom search provider.

The custom search provider is just a URL with %w to place the search term. Thus, the setting here is something like:


(Assuming, of course, that you’re using a search center)

I’m sure it’s been documented before, but hey, it’s neat!

Adding a SharePoint system to the Vista Start menu…

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