Use the Cloud Search Service Application On-Premises
One of the new features included in SharePoint Server 2016, and also available with SharePoint 2013 as long as you have the required PU, is the Cloud Hybrid Search. The Cloud Hybrid Search has many advantages, especially for end users and if you don’t know what it’s about, check out my overview I did on CMSWire.
The Instructions on how to setup the Cloud Hybrid Search, enabled by the Cloud Search Service Applications do show you how to configure everything so you can search both On-Premises content as well as SharePoint Online content from the SharePoint Online Admin Center. What they don’t include is how to enable your On-Premises Search Center to also see those results. Since the index is fully in the cloud, as soon as you enable the Cloud Search Service Application, your On-Premises search boxes and Search Center will start returning absolutely nothing.
That is because, the default Result Source of your Search Service Application is looking for items in the On-Premises Search Index, which is empty since everything is shipped to Office 365. What we will need to do in order to get this fixed, is configure a result source that uses Hybrid Federated Outbound Search to Office 365, and get the results from that Search Index. Luckily, if you didn’t have Server-to-Server trust already setup before configuring the Cloud Hybrid Search, the On-Boarding process has already configured that for you, so you don’t have anything else to do except the steps in this blog. So navigate your Central Administration, and then to the administration page of your Cloud Search Service Application.
From there, go to Result Sources, and create a new Result Source. Enter a good name and description, so everyone else in your organization knows what this Result Source does, and in the Protocol, select “Remote SharePoint”. In the Remote Service URL, enter your main SharePoint Online site collection which is always https://companyname.sharepoint.com. You can easily find this from your SharePoint Online Administration Center.
In the Type, select SharePoint Search Results, and in the Query Transform, you can customize the Query according to your business needs. In the Credentials Information section, select “Default Authentication”
Click Save, and return to the Result Sources page. From the Result Sources Page, select the dropdown near the Result Source you just created and then select “Set as Default”
Simply go do a search from your Document Library Search Boxes or from the Search Center, and you will start seeing Search Results again!
If you want to learn more about SharePoint Hybrid and the Cloud Hybrid Search, check out my Pluralsight course on Implementing a Hybrid SharePoint 2013/2016 Infrastructure by clicking the small banner below!