Delve was introduced last year as a Cloud only solution. It proved to really add value to search and, moreover, discoverability in the whole suite of Office 365, but was until now limited by the content sources SharePoint Online Search can index. To recap them, it’s at this time:
- SharePoint online content (Office documents – Word, PowerPoint, Excel – and PDFs)
- OneDrive for business (in the cloud) content (Office documents – Word, PowerPoint, Excel – and PDFs)
- Mails attachments
- Links to webpages in Yammer groups
The great news is that they introduce a new way to do hybrid search. The idea is to let SPO manage all the index and query related settings.
This way from a user perspective the results are really mixed and the search is truly unified. As far as Delve is concerned, it will this way be able to surface contents coming for on-premises sources.
Here is the main architecture slide:
It clearly shows that in this configuration the search index is managed by SharePoint Online (in Office 365).
The new service “Cloud SSA” is running on the on-premises farm and is used for only two things:
- Crawl of on-prem content
- Managing queries originating from on-premises
There is also in the architecture an ACS Azure Access Control Service proxy which brokerages the connections between SPO and SP on-premises.
The content is crawled on-premises and the results of the crawl (metadata) are sent to SPO in a encrypted way.
There is an extra step needed by the architecture: this is point 6, a mapping is done between on-premises ACLs and SPO ACLs. Parsed content is kept (4) because SPO may need it to rebuild index in certain cases.
Here is the way things work for a query:
And the beauty of this new option is that it doesn’t remove the capability to implement the “old” hybrid search (which is called “federated”. Both can work together:
2. User experience
As demonstrated at 7’ in this session, search results are mixed on the results page:
Search 2010 can also leverage the new service and return the same set of results (ie a mix of SPO, SP2013 and SP2010 links ) :
3. Filtering via managed property
Content can be easily filtered by a new dedicated managed property:
4. Technical details
The new service will be available for SP2013 as an update by the end of 2015. And integrated in SP2016.
it will allow to index SP2007, 2010 or 2013 sources, files shares and BCS Connectors
For things to work correctly, there is in the background identity matching:
and ACL mapping :
- Implementing Next Generation SharePoint Hybrid Search with the Cloud Search Service Application