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SharePoint 2007 - How to Rollup Content from multiple Site Collections (1 way)

I am currently designing & building a sizeable intranet for a global shipping company.  They will have multiple site collections with multiple subsites and lots of lists and libraries scattered throughout the site structure.  One of the site collections is the "parent" site collection to all the others and will function as the entry point for most of the users.

We had a need to rollup content from all of the different site collections and sites to the "parent" site.  The first thing that crossed my mind was the Content Query Web Part.  After playing around with it for about 10 seconds, and then doing a little bit of research to make sure, it was clear that this web part was limited to only rolling up content from a single site collection (see below).  Also, it requires that you activate the publishing feature.  Although the publishing feature may be useful, it creates a lot of management overhead if you are not using it so I needed an alternate solution.

Well, after some thought, SharePoint Search came to the rescue.

Here is my scenario.  On the "parent" site collection there is a Sales subsite.  Throughout the various regional site collections and their respective local or country specific subsites, there may be many Sales related libraries.  These scattered libraries may contain various types of Sales documents including PowerPoint presentations, Excel workbooks, Word documents or Adobe PDF's.  My challenge was to determine how to identify all of this material.  Although there are alternative (and undoubtedly better) ways to do what I did, the general idea holds true and the methodology would be the same.

In each of the site collections I added a yes/no site column called IsSalesMaterial and defaulted its value to "yes".  I then added this site column to all of the libraries that contained sales material.  Now all sales material would be flagged and more importantly, be searchable using this column.  I also added some content to these libraries so that I would get some results.

I flipped over to Shared Services Administration to make a couple of necessary changes.  The first change was to perform a full crawl so that my new property would be visible to SharePoint Search.  I need to make it a managed property and allow it to be used in scopes.

After performing a full crawl of all of your content (I am assuming that the content that you want to surface using this method is already included in an existing content source) navigate to Crawl Setting and click on Metadata property mappings.

Click on New Managed Property.

Name the yes/no property SalesMaterial and add a mapping to ows_IsSalesMaterial(Yes/No).  Be sure to check Allow this property to be used in scopes so that we will be able to use this property in a custom scope.

After saving the property, find it in the list and click on the appropriate mapping in the Mappings column.  If you wanted this property to be included in your index automatically, check the Include values for this property in the search index checkbox.  We do not, since we are only using it for a custom scope.  Checking this checkbox on too many properties can degrade performance, so check wisely!

Now we need to create a custom scope.  Create a new scope named Sales Material.  Add a single rule to include all items that have the SalesMaterial property set to Yes.  Update your scopes.

I then went to the front end web site of my "parent" site collection.  I added a Search Core Results web part to the page and made the following changes to return to me all sales related PowerPoint presentations.

  1. Under Results Display/Views change Default Results View to Modified Date.
  2. Under Results Query Options, change Cross-Web Part query ID to Query 2.
  3. Under Fixed Keyword Query, change Fixed Keyword Query to FileExtension:pptx FileExtension:ppt
  4. Under Miscellaneous, change Scope to Sales Material.
  5. Under Appearance, change the Title to Sales Presentations and change the Chrome Type to Title.

You should now see all of the PowerPoint presentations retrieved from the Sales Material scope.  You can now add another Search Core Results web part to your page to return all Excel Workbooks or any other type of query you want to fix.  Just be sure to set the Cross-Web Part query ID to another value to group all your search web parts together.  For example if you add a Search Paging web part below this Search Core Results web part, be sure to set its Cross-Web Part query ID to the same value as the Search Core Results web part that it will be paging.

Happy Searching!

Published Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:08 PM by Dan Attis
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# WSS FAQ additions and corrections LI - 16th - 22nd April 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007 10:27 PM by Mike Walsh's WSS and more

# re: SharePoint 2007 - How to Rollup Content from multiple Site Collections (1 way)

Great solution.  I was going to recommend the Content Query Web Part but I'm dealing with an org that doesn't want to turn Publishing on.  My only issue is getting IT to give us access to the server to tweak search scopes, etc.  That maybe be a harder sell.  Still, I like seeing what other people come up with in these situations.  Overall, a most elegant solution.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007 9:46 PM by Yoshio Kurtz

# re: SharePoint 2007 - How to Rollup Content from multiple Site Collections (1 way)

Hi Dan

I have just finished reading a couple of your blog entries and you mentioned that you have worked on global sharepoint implementations. You also mentioned that this implementation has many site collections.

Usually I recommend to clients to use one site collection to gain the benefits of shared galleries (CT, site columns, workflows, etc...), unless the company wants two or more different implementations. For example, one site collection for the Organisation collaboration and one for Product information.

Can you please highlight situations where you would want seperate site collections. You mentioned that each regional area has their own site collection and you needed to go to each site collection and create a site column, thus eliminating the benefit of site columns.

I am sure it was implemented this way for a reason and I am after some guidance and benefits in implementing Site Collections this way for large global implmenetations.

much appreciated and keep up the great work on your blog.
CJ

BTW, I tried posting this to you as an email from your blog but was receiving errors.
email: ccjames @ gmail . com
Thursday, September 27, 2007 6:16 PM by CJ

# re: SharePoint 2007 - How to Rollup Content from multiple Site Collections (1 way)

Dude this rocks!!!!  Very clever concept!!!  Thanks...
Friday, October 19, 2007 9:36 AM by Blake Theiss

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