Crawled and Managed properties in MOSS 2007

Written By: Ved Mishra -- 8/31/2011 -- join -- contribute -- (3127) comments -- printer friendly version

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Categories: Configurations, Document Management, MOSS 2007, Programming and Customizations, System Administration, WSS3

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I understand that SharePoint lists and libraries contain extra columns (i.e. Author, Description, Status etc) that can be used to group, sort and filter content items as needed. These extra columns are known as "Metadata".

I also understand that metadata is collected by SharePoint's search crawler and can be used in various ways by developers and administrators. I would like to understand more about this.


Crawled Properties: All the site columns(i.e. metadata) are picked by the Search Crawler based on the protocol handler used.


  • †Site columns with blank data are not picked by Search Crawler. The site columns must have some content in order to be picked by Search Crawler as Crawled Property. In case, you run into this issue, add some content (at least 1 item) and do an incremental or full crawl.
  • †Search Crawls normally take a good amount of time if the amount of content is large.

Crawled properties can be seen in the Shared Services Providerís Metadata Properties page. Launch SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration -> Select Shared Services Administration -> Select the Shared Services Provider -> In the Shared Services Provider, you can see the categories of the Crawled Properties by one of the following two ways:

  • Search Settings
  • Search Administration (if the Infrastructure Update is installed)

Click on any of those 2 links. Click on the "Metadata Properties" under the "Queries and Results" heading in the left navigation.

Click on "Crawled properties".

There are 11 crawled property categories that are available out of the box. You can see this to understand about all the categories. However, here we are interested in the SharePoint category.

Any crawled property that is prefixed with "ows_" comes from SharePoint. This is how it avoids conflict with crawled properties from other categories.

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