Free Search Facet Web Parts for Enterprise Search

Posted Friday, October 5, 2007 9:42 AM by C-Dog's .NET Tip of the Day

I stumbled up on these web parts on CodePlex the other day and I thought they were pretty cool. They provide some of the features that the Ontolica suite has but they are free. What they do is provide a way to filter search results based upon your managed properties. For example, you can filter search results by things such as state or product type. It also comes with a breadcrumbs control which tells you what you searched for and it allows you to remove filters.

They are relatively easy to set up. It even comes with an installer. They will run under partial trust even. However, the manfiest file in there wsp pacakge is missing the AspNet permission. So after you install it, go and add the following line to the permission set in your trust file. If you have read enough of my posts by now, you probably know where this is. The location can be found by looking at the trustLevel element named WSS_Custom in your web.config and grabbing the path. The file is typically located at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\config\wss_custom_wss_minimaltrust.config. Here is the line to add to the PermissionSet. Just look for the one for the Faceted Search wsp file.

<IPermission class="AspNetHostingPermission" version="1" Level="Minimal" />

Someone already pointed this out on their issues list on codeplex and I posted this as a fix for it. Hopefully, they will just add it to the manifest some time.

After you have it set up. It's just a matter of adding the web parts to your results page in search center. They are pretty configurable CSS wise. To specify which columns to provide filters on there is a columns property. It takes XML and is in a format pretty similar to that of the columns property of the CoreResultsWebPart.

These web parts are really nice and they provide a nice value add to your users. Give them a try today.

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