We are currently demonstrating Microsoft Search Server 2008 to a number of customers. In order the speed-up the this process, we deployed an evaluation version of MSS on our evaluation server.

I wanted to configure MSS as testing environment for some customers but allowing each customer to have an independent site for testing. The sample configuration is outlined at the following picture.

Each customer has his own web site to access search and different scopes and content sources.

The greatest challenge of all was to configure the search scopes. Here are the things you have to know:

  • To manage shared scopes go to: http://<CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION>/_layouts/viewscopesssp.aspx?mode=ssp (It seems that someone forgot to add this link to the central administration interface :))
  • To manage other scopes open Site Collection home page > Site Settings > Site Collection Administration > Search Scope. This page allows you to define the scopes which will be available for this search center. Click on selected areas below to add/remove scopes. (The figure shows configuration of Search Scopes for Customer 1)
  • IMPORTANT: If a user does not select a scope, MSS will return results from ALL content sources. That means that site collection of customer 2 will return results from both content sources (customer 1 and customer 2). To configure search properly consider these two solutions:
    • Display scopes drop-down and let users select a desired scope
    • Configure results page to show only results from a desired scope

In Part 2 I will describe how to configure the settings mentioned above in more detail.

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