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FAST Managed Properties missing from Search Action Links Web Part (Sort By)

04/16/2011

A few weeks ago I installed and configured a new production SharePoint 2010 and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint (FS4SP) environment and had broken out roles using several service accounts (btw, my favorite SharePoint 2010 service account list to work from is Todd Klindt’s and can be found here). As I’m sure many of you have found, in our Dev and POC environments, where we’re just using one or two accounts for all roles, everything works great. Then when we move to production and apply the principle of least privileges to our service accounts it gets a little tougher 🙂

I had configured everything and search was working fine. However, as I was configuring the results page I noticed that none of my managed properties were showing up in the “Sort By” dropdown of the Search Action Links web part. For those of you not familiar with it, the Search Action Links web part lets users sort their results by relevance or modified date. Sortable managed properties can be added or removed from the Sort By drop-down list.

Normally, you can modify the web part and select from any of the managed properties that you’ve indicated as a sortable property but in my case they were just missing.

 

I was not seeing any errors in the Windows or FAST specific event logs and there was nothing relevant in the ULS logs either.  I spent a lot of time troubleshooting this issue and after much poking around I finally found this post that speaks to the exact same issue.  However, even after adding the account running the search admin web service to the FASTSearchAdministrators group, as the article suggested, my properties were still missing. 

In my case what finally fixed the issue was adding the app pool account for the main application (the application in which your results page resides) to the FASTSearchAdministrators group.

Couple of lessons learned

  1. READ THE DOCUMENTATION!  If you read the FAST Installation documentation closely, it does indicate the proper configuration.
  2. As one of my FAST heros, Leonardo Souza, told me – “weird errors are usually caused by some missing security permission. Make sure there are no steps missing according to the installation guide”.  Sage advice!

Indeed, having worked with the product for a while now, I now know when experiencing strange behavior, the first places to look are permissions for the FASTSearchAdministrators group (local group on your FAST boxes) and the FASTSearch folder (folder on your filesystem that is created when FAST is installed) .

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