​Since Windows Server 2003 it has been possible to classify files on a network share with metadata using a feature called File Classification Infrastructure (FCI). This is now part of the File Server Resource manager (FSRM) and baked into Windows server. 

FCI uses an NTFS feature which uses an alternate stream to hold name/value pairs which allows the implementation of a functional classification which can be based on folder names being used for deriving function, activity, subactivity and case metadata values for files. This is the same classification IL uses for SharePoint document libraries.

Most customers have large collections of PDF and other file types stored on network shares, or files that don't work well in SharePoint (Access, InDesign, AutoCad etc), which get lost in the noise of search results because they don't have any metadata associated with them except for date and author information. SharePoint can be configured to index the network shares and will pick up the metadata for Microsoft Office files but not any other file types.

SharePoint Enterprise version includes a search feature called Content Enrichment Web Service (CEWS) which allows 3rd parties to intercept the indexing process and inject additional metadata for an item into the index.

At Information Leadership we have developed a CEWS component that gets the FCI metadata for all network share files and adds this to the search index which allows this content to be discovered through search refiners along with content stored in SharePoint. Applying the same taxonomy to SharePoint and network shares delivers the ultimate findability experience for users.

Watch this short video for a demonstration of how it works.



8/9/2018 1:41 PMSearching Network Shares with Metadata RefinersPendingSearch

A collection of tools and projects that I have found very useful in managing SharePoint


The Swiss army knife of automated farm installation.

SharePoint Search Query Tool

Build search queries with hints for parameters and view raw results. Great tool for troubleshooting display templates and Content by Search web part

Search Topology UI for PowerShell

Simple UI to help understand the current search topology and update it.

Graph Explorer

Graph explorer is a web application for exploring Microsoft Graph Rest API with autocomplete.

11/11/2016 10:56 AMSharePoint and 365 ToolsApproved
Opinions; SharePoint 2013

​I got caught out recently with a customer request to restore an accidently deleted site collection.

I use the get-spdeletedsite to list all the sites that could be recovered (and there were a lot of them in this case)​. I scrolled up the output until I found the URL I was looking for and then copied the SiteID to use in the restore command.

Unfortunately​​ the customer complained that that this restored site didn't contain the content the expected. Turns out the had deleted and recreated the site several times so there were multiple copies of it in the recycle bin.

The following code makes it much easier to see all the deleted site collections and select one based on deleted date to restore.

$result = Get-SPDeletedSite | Select-object $properties | Sort-Object "Url" | Out-GridView -PassThru
if ($result){Restore-SPDeletedSite -Identity $result.SiteId;$result=$null}

9/14/2016 3:46 PMCheck for multiple deleted site collections before restoringPendingPowerShell
SharePoint 2013

Trying to add an OOTB list to my site but cats are getting in the way

The only filter for all the apps available is by Newest and Name. You would think "Built-in apps" would be helpful when IT have decided to make 240 apps globally available

11/30/2015 10:31 PMEnterprise apps, what a jokeApproved

If you are using a tool like the SharePoint 2013 Search Query Tool it is useful to know the ranking model GUID's so you can see the effect of using different models.

Unfortunately the field example used in this tool uses the GUID for O14 Default Search Model so the results will not match what you see in the OOTB search results.

Below is the list of GUID's extracted using the PowerShell command Get-SPEnterpriseSearchRankingModel -SearchApplication $ssa -Owner $owner

Ranking Model type

Model Name


General Purpose

Default Search Model


General Purpose

Search Ranking Model with Two Linear Stages


General Purpose

O15 MainResultsDefaultRankingModel


General Purpose

O14 Default Search Model


General Purpose

Search Model With Boosted Minspan


General Purpose

Search Model Without Minspan


People Search

People Search application ranking model


People Search

People Search expertise ranking model


People Search

People Search expertise social distance ranking model


People Search

People Search name ranking model


People Search

People Search name social distance ranking model


People Search

People Search social distance model


Special Purpose

Catalog ranking model


Special Purpose

Popularity ranking model


Special Purpose

Recommender ranking model


Special Purpose

Site suggestion ranking model



More detail on each of the ranking models can be found on the Microsoft Technet site

10/5/2015 2:00 PMSearch Ranking Model ID’s in SharePoint 2013Approved
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