Bill Bär /bɛːr/

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Bill Bär /bɛːr/
Bill Bär is a Senior Product Manager and Microsoft Certified Master for Microsoft Search, Assistant, and Intelligence at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington.

Microsoft Search

Microsoft Search

Index and Query Time Merging Unpacked

The amount of information we create has grown exponentially, and more often is distributed across multiple locations, making finding the right information, at the right time, increasingly difficult. One solution to this challenge is to merge your on-premises information with your information in Microsoft 365, but occasionally business requirements, corporate and/or regulatory compliance, or other constraints may limit the ability to merge or store data in the cloud. In this post we’ll cover two examples, index-time and query-time merging.

Search notes, changes to the conversations vertical

Updates to the Conversations vertical in SharePoint, Office.com, and Microsoft Bing. Starting March 2022, there will be several upcoming changes to the ‘Conversations’ vertical in Microsoft Search. In March 2022, Conversations, as it exists, will be renamed to ‘Messages’ in Microsoft Bing (in April for Office.com) – providing results for Outlook and Teams conversations and later in July for SharePoint. Yammer conversations will be contained within the new Yammer vertical in Microsoft Bing, Office.

Search notes, custom verticals and refiners

This week we shipped custom verticals and refiners on SharePoint content worldwide. Search verticals only show results of a certain type or from certain content. Examples are Files or News. By default, Microsoft Search shows the verticals All, People, Files, Sites, and News. You can add search verticals that are relevant to your organization that represent content indexed with one or more Microsoft Graph … keep reading. Vertical and filter customization on SharePoint content allows a Microsoft Search administrator to edit out-of-the-box search verticals, such as Files, Sites, News, etc.

Search notes, new apis

New APIs (preview) are available for Microsoft Search. These new APIs include Bookmarks and QnA. If you’re unfamiliar with Bookmarks and QnA, you can get caught up here: Answers in Microsoft Search Bookmark answers versus authoratative pages bookmark resource type A bookmark is an administrative answer in Microsoft Search results for common search queries in an organization. A bookmark has many properties which allow administrators to make common resources more accessible in their organization.

Search notes, verticals

STUB Verticals A search vertical only shows results of a certain type or from certain content. Examples are Files or News. By default, Microsoft Search shows the verticals All, People, Files, Sites, and News. You can add search verticals that are relevant to your organization that represent content indexed with one or more Microsoft Graph connectors. Microsoft Graph connectors The ‘All’ vertical contains high value entities to include, but not limited to:

Bookmark Recommendations in Microsoft Search

Bookmark Recommendations Bookmark Answers in Microsoft Search provide the flexibility for you to curate and promote curated resources on top of ranked results to help guide users to authoritative resources. Bookmark Answers are designed to help employee’s way find the organization and quickly identify the best and most relevant resource curated by you or your organization such as authoritative sites or documents to satisfy the searchers’ intent. Examples of Bookmark Answers can include sites, documents, or even files such as the Human Resources site, policy document, or more.

Acronym Answers in Microsoft Search

What are Answers in Microsoft Search? An Answer is a highly relevant and high confidence result that satisfies a user intent expressed as a query/question in search, presenting the most relevant information needed to get a job done and help users to faster task completion. An Answer is a way to address user intent. When searching, the user typically types in characters and keywords to express an intent. Recognizing the keywords that are triggers for specific intents is important, but it is even more important that the content that is shown in search satisfies the user intent.

Demystifying Topic Answers

Since the announcement of Microsoft Viva on February 4, 2021, I’ve come across a lot of questions and conversations surrounding Topics, specifically Topic Answers, and what a Topic Answer is… In the past I’ve posted quite a bit on Answers and their relationship to Microsoft Search, whether File Answers, Acronyms Answers, or something else - see https://wbaer.net/2020/10/making-the-most-of-answers-in-microsoft-search/. To put simply, a Topic Answer, is just one of the many forms of “Answers” generated by Microsoft Search.

Transitioning from Authoratative Web Pages to Answers in SharePoint Online

As Authoratative Pages are scheduled to be deprecated in SharePoint Online, now is the time to start thinking about how to deliver similar functionality with Microsoft Search. For background, authoritative pages are those that link to the most relevant information as decided by the search administrator, specified as a URL. SharePoint search uses this list to calculate the rank of every page in the index. For example, if an administrator wanted to rank the companies HR site above ranked results, an authoratative page could be configured for https://contoso.

Changes to Microsoft Search in SharePoint Online (Updated 01/11/21)

Last month we shared changes we’re making to Microsoft Search in SharePoint Online as we continue our journey of bringing Microsoft Search to your favorite Microsoft 365 productivity apps and services. As a result of this announcement, we’ve seen questions as to whether FQL (FAST Query Language) is being deprecated as a result of these changes. The simple answer is no, FAST Query Language is not being deprecated; however, there are some features of FAST Query Language that are being deprecated:

Improving search relevance in Microsoft Teams

As we continue to ease into working remotely, search has evolved beyond its traditional perception of providing simple utilitarian value, to now serving as a proxy to person-person interactions, quick hallway conversations, and unstructured meetings – effectively search has become the “digital water cooler” for many businesses. The ability to find information in context has become increasingly important, not only because we’re more distributed, but so is information; however, you need to be able to not only discover information in context but have the assurance that the results are the most relevant to you and your task.

What’s new with Answers in Microsoft Search

NEW FEATURE: Bookmark Recommendations (FEATURE ID: 68864) Bookmark Answers in Microsoft Search provide the flexibility for you to curate and promote curated resources on top of ranked results to help guide users to authoritative resources. Bookmark Answers are designed to help employee’s way find the organization and quickly identify the best and most relevant resource curated by you or your organization such as authoritative sites or documents to satisfy the searchers’ intent.

Microsoft Search 101

What is Microsoft Search? Microsoft Search is the evolution of search at Microsoft. Microsoft Search transforms the way people in an organization find the information they need—no matter where they are in their cloud journey. Either integrated with Microsoft 365 or as a standalone solution, Microsoft Search is a secure, easily managed, enterprise search experience that works across Microsoft 365 applications and services to deliver more relevant search results and increase productivity.

Should I stay or should I go...Bookmarks vs Promoted Results

What’s a promoted result? In brief, Promoted Results are a component of query results that allow you to promote a search result to appear above ranked results. For example, for the query “sick leave”, a query rule could specify a particular result, such as a link to a site that has a statement of company policy regarding time off work or otherwise, the promoted result link. What’s a Bookmark? Bookmarks are one of many Answers in Microsoft Search.

Making the most of Answers in Microsoft Search

What are Answers in Microsoft Search? An Answer is a highly relevant and high confidence result that satisfies a user intent expressed as a query/question in search, presenting the most relevant information needed to get a job done and help users to faster task completion. An Answer is a way to address user intent. When searching, the user typically types in characters and keywords to express an intent. Recognizing the keywords that are triggers for specific intents is important, but it is even more important that the content that is shown in search satisfies the user intent.

A primer in machine reading comprehension

If you’ve been following the various news and announcements from Microsoft on Microsoft Search at events like Build and Microsoft Ignite, you’ve probably come across a demo or two on Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC). For example, a search for “Can I bring my dog to work?” in Microsoft Search in Bing. Let’s explore what MRC is… In brief, MRC is the ability to read and understand unstructured text and then answer questions about it or effectively algorithms that can learn to answer questions about new documents with limited amounts of training data, incorporate common sense, and leverage external knowledge about the world.

Search notes, connecting your data into search and services

Microsoft Search is a new cohesive search capability in Microsoft 365 enabling you to find, command, navigate and discover items across your organization’s network of data, transforming your search bar into a resource for collective knowledge. An AI-powered insight engine that connects content across Windows, Office apps, Office.com, SharePoint, OneDrive, and third-party ecosystems to surface relevant, personalized results, whether it’s a recent chat, people card or a document a coworker shared.

Announcing the Search First Migration Accelerator

Understanding search is the primary means in the Enterprise for surfacing and locating information…as a result, it has become a mission critical component of SharePoint deployments. The rise in adoption of SharePoint 2010 in organizations has led to more customers seeking to leverage the benefits of the new search architectures, whether Enterprise Search in SharePoint 2010 or FAST Search Server 2010, as part of their topologies. In either scenario, customers are faced with a decision on how to accomplish upgrade and accommodate their end users.
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