Overview Of Microsoft Search In Office 365

In this article, I’ll explain about the Microsoft Search feature in Office 365.

In this article, I’ll explain the Microsoft Search feature in Office 365.

Last month, there was a message in the message center: “Microsoft Search is now available for your organization” as shown in the below figure. Since this is a major update, I was a bit curious to get the details.

 
Office 365 - Microsoft Search feature is now available
Figure 1: Office 365 - Microsoft Search feature is now available

You might have also received the mail as,

Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Notification on email 
Figure 2: Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Notification on email

Before going into more details I’ll show an example to avoid  confusion/suspense. When I turn on “Microsoft Search” in my organization, I could search our Office 365 users, groups, SharePoint documents and sites, conversations from Microsoft Teams, and conversations from Yammer on Bing.com.

Let’s open Bing in the browser and sign in – assuming I have turned on “Microsoft Search” setting for my tenant as

Office 365 - Opening bing.com and signing with my Office 365 account 
Figure 3: Office 365 - Opening bing.com and signing with my Office 365 account

Sign in to Bing.com with our Office 365 account as

Office 365 - signing with Office 365 account to bing.com 
Figure 4: Office 365 - signing with Office 365 account to bing.com

Here, knowledgejunction.onmicrosoft.com is my test tenant and a user is prasham@ knowledgejunction.onmicrosoft.com. Next, it will prompt for the password, please enter it.

Then I searched for my user and it shows all the details as,

Office 365 - Microsoft Search in Bing - Searching for user Prasham 
Figure 5: Office 365 - Microsoft Search in Bing - Searching for user Prasham

And the results are,

Office 365 - Microsoft Search feature is now available 
Figure 6: Office 365 - Microsoft Search in Bing - My Office 365 user search result

Here also notice, it has tabs also in the top like All results, People, Files, Sites, and Conversation. If we click on each tab, we will see the related result.

For example the result from Sites,

 Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Result for Sites for user Prasham 
Figure 7: Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Result for Sites for user Prasham

If I click on “All results” it will show the results from all the tabs,

Office 365 - Microsoft Search in Bing - All results 
Figure 8: Office 365 - Microsoft Search in Bing - All results

All the results are permission-based and secured. We control all the settings like what should be shown in the result and for which users this result needs to be shown and so on. We will see all the details below.

If “Microsoft Search” feature is turned off we try to log in to Bing.com it throws an error as,

Microsoft Search in Bing - Login failure in case "Microsoft Search" setting is turned off 
Figure 9: Office 365 - Microsoft Search in Bing - Login failure in case "Microsoft Search" setting is turned off

“Microsoft Search” tenant level setting

This is tenant level setting. By default the setting is turned off. This option is under “Services & add-ins” as,
 
Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Tenant level option 
Figure 10: Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Tenant level option

I’ll stop here in this article, tomorrow in the next article I’ll explain the admin dashboard for Microsoft Search feature and various settings.

We have discussed that there is a tenant level setting for enabling/disabling the feature. There is also “Microsoft Search admin tool” available to manage a few settings or search experiences.

The option to launch the setting is from the same location where we enable/disable the “Activate Microsoft Search” setting (Home > Service & add-ins > Microsoft Search) as shown in tthe below figure,

Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Option for launching "Microsoft Search admin tool"
Figure 1: Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Option for launching "Microsoft Search admin tool"

From the above figure 1, we have the option in Step 1 ”Activate Microsoft Search” to turn on/off the option to search in Bing search. In Step 2, we have the option to launch the “Microsoft Search admin tool”.

Or alternatively, we can directly go through URL --  here we need to log in with our Office 365 tenant account. We can see that the admin portal will be launched as,

Office 365 - Microsoft Search Admin Portal 
Figure 2: Office 365 - Microsoft Search Admin Portal

In the right side, we will see various setting options such as Dashboard, Bookmarks, Q&As, Users & permissions, Connected services, Content Settings, and tools.

Following are a couple of important settings which we will discuss now from the Microsoft search admin portal:

Users & Permissions

UI for setting the access to the users for Microsoft Search. We can manage preview users as,
 
Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Managing preview users
Figure 3: Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Managing preview users

If we don’t want to give permissions to all users, we deselect the option “Add everyone in your organization” and add set of users or security groups as shown in above figure 3.

Connected services

The services you get in a search like “People”, “Groups”, “Sharepoint”, “Microsoft Teams” and “Yammer” are shown in the below figure,
 
 Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Office 365 services in allowed in bing search
Figure 4: Office 365 - Microsoft Search - Office 365 services in allowed in bing search

By default, all the above services are turned on but depending on our organization's needs we can turn off the respective settings. For example, my organization won’t allow searching Groups or Microsoft Teams conversation. Or some other organization may only allow searching SharePoint and People.

Thanks for reading.