Automatic Creation of Managed and Crawl Properties

SharePoint 2013/2016 automatically generates managed and crawl properties for site columns. This makes the life of site collection administrator lot easier. In this post I will put a real example of how to test it.

Step 1

Create Site columns and content type and add it to a list. I used the PowerShell below to do that

Add-PSSnapIn “Microsoft.SharePoint.Powershell”

#Get the site collection and web object

$siteColl = Get-SPSite -Identity “https://portal16.contoso.com/”

function Create-SiteColumnText ($siteColl, $CustomColumn)

{

$rootWeb = $siteColl.RootWeb

#Assign fieldXMLString variable with field XML for site column

$fieldXMLString = “<Field Type=’Text’ Name=’$CustomColumn’

Description=’Indicate date of last and next meeting and names of current members.’

DisplayName=’$CustomColumn’

StaticName=’$CustomColumn’

Group=’Custom Columns’

Hidden=’FALSE’

Required=’FALSE’

Sealed=’FALSE’

ShowInDisplayForm=’TRUE’

ShowInEditForm=’TRUE’

ShowInListSettings=’TRUE’

ShowInNewForm=’TRUE’></Field>”

#See field XML on console

#write-host $fieldXMLString

#Create site column from XML string

$rootWeb.Fields.AddFieldAsXml($fieldXMLString)

Write-Host “Column Added”

}

function Create-SiteColumnChoice ($siteColl, $CustomColumn)

{

$rootWeb = $siteColl.RootWeb

#Assign fieldXMLString variable with field XML for site column

$fieldXMLString = “<Field Type=’Choice’

Name=’$CustomColumn’

Description=’Choice.’

Format=’Dropdown’

DisplayName=’$CustomColumn’

StaticName=’$CustomColumn’

Group=’Custom Columns’

Hidden=’FALSE’

Required=’FALSE’

Sealed=’FALSE’

ShowInDisplayForm=’TRUE’

ShowInEditForm=’TRUE’

ShowInListSettings=’TRUE’

ShowInNewForm=’TRUE’>

<Default>Specification</Default>

<CHOICES>

<CHOICE>Specification</CHOICE>

<CHOICE>Development</CHOICE>

<CHOICE>Test</CHOICE>

<CHOICE>Documentation</CHOICE>

</CHOICES>

</Field>”

#See field XML on console

#write-host $fieldXMLString

#Create site column from XML string

$rootWeb.Fields.AddFieldAsXml($fieldXMLString)

Write-Host “Column Added”

}

Create-SiteColumnText -siteColl $siteColl -CustomColumn “MyCustomColumn1”

Create-SiteColumnText -siteColl $siteColl -CustomColumn “MyCustomColumn2”

Create-SiteColumnText -siteColl $siteColl -CustomColumn “MyCustomColumn3”

Create-SiteColumnChoice -siteColl $siteColl -CustomColumn “MyCustomColumn4”

$web = $siteColl.RootWeb

$ctypeName = “MyCustomContentType”

$ctypeParent = $web.availablecontenttypes[“Item”]

$ctype = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPContentType($ctypeParent, $web.contenttypes, $ctypeName)

$web.contenttypes.add($ctype)

$field = $web.fields.getfield(“MyCustomColumn1”)

$fieldLink = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldLink($field)

$ctype.fieldlinks.add($fieldLink)

$field = $web.fields.getfield(“MyCustomColumn2”)

$fieldLink = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldLink($field)

$ctype.fieldlinks.add($fieldLink)

$field = $web.fields.getfield(“MyCustomColumn3”)

$fieldLink = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldLink($field)

$ctype.fieldlinks.add($fieldLink)

$field = $web.fields.getfield(“MyCustomColumn4”)

$fieldLink = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldLink($field)

$ctype.fieldlinks.add($fieldLink)

$ctype.Update()

$ListTitle = “CustomList1”

$Web.Lists.Add($ListTitle, $ListTitle, 100)

$Library =$Web.Lists[$ListTitle]

$Library.ContentTypesEnabled = $true

$Library.ContentTypes.Add($ctype);

$Library.ContentTypes.Delete($Library.ContentTypes[0].Id)

$Library.ContentTypes.Count

$Library.Update()

$Array = @(“Specification”, “Development”, “Test”, “Documentation”)

for ($i = 1; $i -lt 5; $i++)

{

$Item = $Library.AddItem()

$Item[“Title”] = “Item $i”

$Item[“MyCustomColumn1”] = “Item $i Column $i”

$Item[“MyCustomColumn2”] = “Item $i Column $i”

$Item[“MyCustomColumn3”] = “Item $i Column $i”

$j = $i

$Item[“MyCustomColumn4”] = $Array[$j-1]

$Item.Update()

Write-Host “Done…” -ForegroundColor Green

}

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Next Step would be to run a full crawl.

Open Central Administration – Application management – Manage service application – Search Service Application – Content Sources – Choose Full crawl from All Sites Content Source. You can run increment crawl in case your farm is large but my farm only has few items.

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Click on Crawl Log – URL View – Type the URL of the custom list and click Search

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You see that your items are indexed. Now wait for crawl status to idle.

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Now go back to portal site – Open Site Settings – Under Site Collection Administrator click Search Schema

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Type MyCustom in filter textbox and Click green arrow.

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You would see that these columns are greyed out with clear message when you edit them.

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“Automatically created managed property.MyCustomColumnX2OWSTEXT is an automatically created managed property. You can’t see any of its existing settings or which crawled properties are mapped to it, but you can map more crawled properties to it. If you save the managed property without making any changes, all settings will be deleted.”

Once you make a change in the property, the link become’s active.

clip_image016

These properties can now be used in Content Search Web part, reminders and display templates

You can make Search Rest to read the values as well

https://portal16.contoso.com/_api/search/query?querytext=’Item 1 Column 1’&selectproperties=’Path,Url,Title,Author,MyCustomColumn1OWSTEXT’

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