A typical request that we get here at Composable is for a news rotator, or a news slider. Most organizations publish their news to a SharePoint announcements list and then display those same announcements on their company homepage as a standard list. If you’re looking for a flashier way to display those announcements, however, you can create a News slider using the power of SharePoint Search and Display Templates. This series will come in three parts; Part 1 will focus on setting up the list and the managed properties to be used.
First, we need to set our list up for the announcements/news.
We need to create our list. I typically start off with a custom list and build off of that. Below is a list of columns that we will create, along with their data types.
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Now with the standard Title column these will form the basis for our slider and news announcements list. After our list has been created we need to fill it out with some dummy data. This is important as the SharePoint Search crawler will not pick up any columns that don’t have data.
When your list is populated, go into the SharePoint Admin portal (Office 365) or Central Admin (On Premise). Locate the Search Administration. Once there you need to go into the Search Schema and check to make sure our custom list columns are showing up in the crawled properties section. We must make sure that our columns are showing up as crawled properties before we create a new managed property for every column we want to use in the search template. Typically, that would be every column on the list. In this case, however, we don’t want to show the body due to the length. We will omit that one and just create a managed property for the others.
To create a managed property, first click New Managed Property.
Fill out the Property Name and Description. You will want to keep the Property Name as unique as possible, as this will be used in the display template later on.
Once that is finished you need to input what type of data is in the column.
Next comes all of the characteristics that you need that property to have. I use Retrievable for most things. However, if it is a date or a yes/no field then I will also make it refinable and sortable. After you’ve completed the characteristics you will need to map the crawled property to the new managed property that you are creating.
When you have finished with the settings for that property, hit OK at the bottom of the screen. You will need to do this for every list column you want to surface in the slider. Once all of your managed properties are created you will need to run a full crawl to populate them from the list. For On Premise you can manually kick off a full crawl by going to your content sources and then selecting the content source your list lives in and hitting Start Full Crawl. For those in the cloud you will need to go back to the list and hit List Settings, then go to the advanced list settings page. Scroll about halfway down the page and you will see a Reindex List button. This will force the crawler to reindex that specific list and force those properties to be populated.
Part 2 of this series will focus on setting up the search web part to show the items and talk about sorting the items correctly.