Thursday, October 4, 2012

Enable continuous crawls is a crawl schedule option that is new in SharePoint 2013. It is available only for content sources that use the SharePoint sites content source type. A continuous crawl starts at set intervals. The default interval is 15 minutes, but you can set continuous crawls to occur at shorter intervals by using Windows PowerShell.

Prerequisites:
  • Create a Search Service Application
  • Create at least one content source of type "SharePoint Sites".

Enabling Continuous Crawl:
  • Go to Central Administration –> Application Management –> Manage Service Applications –> Search Service Application
  • Click on Content Sources from left navigation
  • Click new content source or edit an existing content source
  • Under the crawl settings section, you can choose the option "Enable Continuous Crawls".
    Enable_Continuous_Crawl_thumb[6]
    Note: This option will be available to only on the content sources of type "SharePoint Sites".
  • Save the changes.
Disabling Continuous Crawl:
  • From the content source page, chose the option "Enable Incremental Crawls" option. This will disable the continuous crawl.
  • Save changes.
Advantages:
  • Search results are very accurate and very fresh as the index is updating time to time.
  • Search administrators do not need to monitor for content freshness.
Things to remember:
  • Even though the continuous crawl is loading fresh results, if your organization is big with huge data then the continuous crawl needs a minimum span of 2 hours.
  • If the data is not changing very frequently in the SharePoint sites then it will not be the right option.
  • If you are having any public web sites and need to show the real time data then consider using this option.
Changing the time span for the continuous crawl using Powershell:
As we already discussed the default span it takes is 15 minutes. Though we can modify this using the powershell scripting.
Please go through the MSDN link to understand more about Set-SPEnterpriseSearchCrawlContentSource

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