SharePoint 2013 Continuous Crawl

As I learn all about SharePoint 2013 Administration this week at SharePoint911 – SharePoint 2013 Administration Training, one thing stands out above the rest: search. Search could really be a week long class in itself, but we did dedicate 4 hours to it today. In 2013 Search has undergone an extreme makeover: SharePoint Edition. One of the new features that I heard about, but didn’t really understand until today was this new concept of a continuous crawl. Is it really continuous? In SharePoint 2010 we had 2 options: Incremental or Full. You could schedule an incremental crawl to go every 15 minutes, but if it exceeded that 15 minute mark it would wait until the next 15 minute block before starting another incremental crawl. For example: Let’s say we schedule 15 minute incremental search crawls on a 2010 farm. The first crawl completes in 15 minutes, but the second crawl completes in 20 minutes. SharePoint 2010 would actually wait 10 minutes before kicking off another incremental crawl.

The OLD Way:

15 minutes 20 Minutes 10 Minutes No Crawl 15 Minutes

The NEW Way:

15 minutes 20 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes

This is really just a continuous incremental crawl, but names don’t always match up in 2013 (SkyDrive vs. SkyDrive Pro, Apps (As in Lists, Document Libraries, etc.) or Cloud Apps (As in development). Some other fun search facts for 2013 are as follows: Search Best Bets and Enterprise Keywords are dead (replaced by query rules), instant search (pre-query suggestions) are awesome, no more search scopes (replaced by result sources), and most admin level search work is now done in PowerShell, but pretty much all other items are done at the site collection level. SharePoint 2013 is the real deal and definitely is one search to rule them all in the Enterprise…long live Google Search appliances.

SharePoint Invalid File Name Workaround..ish

I’m sure anyne dealing with SharePoint end user support has ran into this error: “The file name you specified is not valid or too long. Specify a different file name.”

Invalid Filename

After some searching we noticed that this is a limitation with all versions of SharePoint! Usually renaming one or two files isn’t too big of a problem (And it never seems to be a problem if they want to get around blocked file types!), but this specific case we needed to upload thousands of documents into SharePoint. I did some more searching around online and found a few different options: powershell (love it, but to train someone who has never used it would be a fun day), create an event receiver to change the file name at the time of upload (not enough time in this case), or find an application capable of renaming bulk files. I found this little gem on sourcefourge:

SharePoint File Fix is capable of renaming bulk files (and even does recursive renames) to make them compatbile with SharePoint. It is a lightweight html application that doesn’t require an install and is very easy to train a user how to use it.

SharePoint File Fix

Export the User Information List of a site collection to Excel

Obtain “listID” & “ViewID” for the list “User Information List”.
a) Go to the “People and Groups” page of the site and navigate to List Settings (Settings > List Settings) via Toolbar.
b) Choose the list from the list of views in the bottom portion of the page.
c) In the address bar of the page, you would find the LISTID and VIEWID.
For example: http://sitename/_layouts/ViewEdit.aspx?List=%7B83959520%2DE3F8%2D4696%2D802B%2D22B547F097F4%7D&View=%7B8E86F4BF%2D1B65%2D4AC5%2DA507%2D87236E3F8D05%7D


Replace the viewID and ListID we obtained from previous step in the url