SharePoint Hybrid Search and Crawled Properties

Hybrid search with SharePoint and Office 365 is key. It’s an integral piece in any large migration strategy as well as creating an enterprise search experience by letting users search for on-prem content in O365 when setup correctly.

Hybrid search has been out for quite some time now, but it appears a problem, new or not, has arrived with your crawled properties. (I think it’s a newer issue, but no one else thinks so.)

The problem is that any fields/properties which are crawled on-prem, from SharePoint sites or custom sources like Salesforce (through BA Insight’s sweet connectors), any custom properties, may not appear for you in Office 365.

In my case, crawling Salesforce highlighted this problem. I could then recreate the problem with an on-prem SharePoint site.

After a successful crawl, going to the Search Schema in Office 365 Search doesn’t show the properties as expected. You can check the properties in the search center on-prem and see them there, but not in Office 365. I opened a ticket with Microsoft SharePoint Server team, not the O365 team (anything outside of O365, even hybrid, is outside of their purview). They spent a couple of weeks recreating and troubleshooting this to find the fix.

The solution is to log into Office 365 with the service account your on-prem search service is using. In my case, logging into O365 Admin with domain\spsearch allowed me to see these missing properties. I could then create Managed Properties and then all users could use the data. That’s it! Your service account doesn’t need any licenses, just admin privileges.

I don’t like this solution since it’s a service account, and as a service account, it’s for services, not users to actually use. So I posted the issue on UserVoice, I’d love your vote!

Also, if you have a minute, up vote my other UserVoice about the overall hybrid experience.

‘Til next time, Happy SharePointing!

4 thoughts on “SharePoint Hybrid Search and Crawled Properties

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  1. For whom it might interest: just had the same discussion with MS support.
    Technically speaking, it is not necessary to use the on-premises crawl account to see the SPO crawled properties. The whole point seems to be the fact that crawled properties *itself* are security trimmed. So in SPO to see the crawled properties you can use any account which on-premises was able to see (read) at least one of the crawled objects (and therefore its properties). Of course together with at least SPO SharePoint Administrator permissions…

    MS insists that this is not a bug, but by design.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I do recall a similar sentiment from MS, and I still lean towards a bug. The tenant admin, in my opinion, should have access to it all. I understand the issue and why it’s a problem, doesn’t mean I have to like it. :D

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