Build a Federated Result Source for SharePoint 2013 Search – Part 1

Result Sources

Result sources In SharePoint 2013 Search define where a search query looks for results. They can be thought of as “containers” for search results that hold results from specific sources and/or are filtered by specific criteria. For those familiar with SharePoint 2010, result sources replace “search scopes” in previous SharePoint versions. In this blog, you will learn how to create a new result source. Specifically, you will create a result source that returns search results from the Bing search engine.

Search Federation Explained

Simply put, federated search can be defined as using search indexes created by other search engines to supplement SharePoint search results. This feature enables the user to retrieve and display search results for content that is not crawled by the SharePoint search server. For example, you can set up a search to return content indexed by an external search engine like Bing. SharePoint can format and display external results on the same search results page along with results from SharePoint search, or within a separate Web Part.

Search federation was available in SharePoint 2010, but configuration and display has been greatly simplified in SharePoint 2013 through the use of result sources, a tool called Query Builder, and search query rules. In this blog, we show you how to create and configure a result source for search federation. Specifically, you will learn how to create a result source for Bing search.

This blog assumes you have access to an Office 365 Enterprise online tenant. If you do not have access, navigate to the Microsoft Office Customer Preview page at, click Learn more, then click Office 365 Enterprise, and finally click Try it. Follow the instructions to provision your tenant.

Create Your Federated Results Source

  1. Navigate to your tenant’s Search page (it may have the form .
  2. At the upper right of the page, click Settings (gear icon), and from the drop-down menu, click Site Settings.
  3. Under Search, click Result Sources.
  4. At the top of the sources page, click New Result Source.
  5. Next to the headings, type information as follows:

Name: Federated Results
Description: Result source for Bing
Source Information/Protocol: OpenSearch 1.0/1.1
Query Transformation:  {searchTerms}
Source URL (for Bing): Copy and paste, or type in the following as a continuous string of text:{?searchterms}&format=rss&Market=en-Us

Credentials Information: Anonymous

At the bottom of the page, click Save.

Congratulations, in just a few steps you have set up a new Result source for SharePoint 2013 Search. In the next blog of this series, you will test the result source and  display Bing federated results in SharePoint search.

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