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Enabling Business Data Search

SharePoint 2007

Enterprise Search in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the Business Data Catalog give you the ability to include business data from back-end applications, such as SAP or Siebel, in search queries. To enable business data search for an entity registered in the Business Data Catalog, you should supply the additions to the metadata that you need for search, and then configure search.

1. Supply Additions in Metadata for Search

A Business Data Catalog crawl has two phases:

  • ID enumeration in which the crawl fetches all entity instance IDs.

  • Detail fetch in which the crawl fetches details for each entity instance.

An IDEnumerator method returns the list of IDs (unique keys) for each entity that should be searchable, and the SpecificFinder metadata object returns details for each entity instance. This enables indexing of the entities whose IDs the IDEnumerator method returns.

To enable search in the Business Data Catalog, you must provide the following additions to your metadata:

  • Define an IDEnumerator method that returns the list of IDs (unique keys) of the entity that you want to make available in search results. For details, see Step 5 (Optional): Define IDEnumerator Methods and Enable Business Data Search.

  • Make sure the entity also has a SpecifcFinder metadata object defined for it.

  • If you require incremental crawl, make sure that one of the return fields in the IDEnumerator for the entity represents the time the entity instance (or row in database terminology) was last updated in the line-of-business (LOB) application. You should then set the __BdcLastModifiedTimestamp property of the entity with the name of the TypeDescriptor object in the return value of the IDEnumerator method that represents the last modified date.

  • The LastIdSeen filter enables chunking for IDEnumerator methods. For Web services and other nonstreaming back-end applications that return large amounts of data, you should use the LastIdSeen filter in your IDEnumerator method to improve performance, as follows:

    SELECT TOP 100 Id FROM Customers WHERE Id>=@LastIdSeen
    ORDER BY Id
    

2. Configure Search

You must configure Enterprise Search to search an application in the Business Data Catalog. The following topics explain how to do this:

After you complete these steps, content from your back-end application is available for search queries. Next, you must customize the search user interface, or create custom search applications, to execute queries against the business data content. For information about performing these next steps, see the following topics:

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