Search Scopes and Site/List Context…

Came across an interesting problem from a customer – they’ve got a customised master page which doesn’t have ‘Site’ or ‘List’ level searches. They’ve got search scopes (such as ‘People’ or ‘Documents’ or ‘All Sites’), but across their entire SharePoint system. For example, this search:

will take us to our customised results page:

Note the Document Date column, and navigation breadcrumbs – these are custom.

The customer has added the search box web part to some pages, though, and this does display ‘Site’ or ‘List’ level scopes. Running a search against these scopes:

Takes us to this search page:

Yup, that’s the WSS3 standard search results page. You can see this in the So, can I change that?

Well… no. Proving that nothing is new under the sun, Mark Arend has a good post about this problem of contextual and custom search scopes. His explanation makes sense, too, but like he says, it doesn’t really justify the issue.

One option that he doesn’t mention is that you could use an HTTPModule to intercept the call to the OSSSearchResults page and forward it to our own custom results page. I might prototype that and post about it tomorrow.

Let’s hope that SharePoint vNext fixes this, ‘cos inconsistent search results depended upon contextual vs custom scopes will just confuse.

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Search Scopes and Site/List Context…

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