Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Searching SharePoint Task Lists

It's one thing to be able to view all your tasks in one spot, it's another to find the tasks most important to you. Given that SharePoint 2010 can now support millions of potential tasks at every level of a task hierarchy, a robust search solution is now critical to help users make sense of it all.

The IntelliGantt Web Part was designed with this exact scenario in mind. We just posted a new screencast highlighting the new 'Search' feature within the web part and, even after developing it, the coolness factor is at eleven!

Basically, it uses the one tried and true search metaphor the world has come to love-- a text box. OK, that in itself may seem underwhelming, but another design goal for the IntelliGantt Web Part was to make it as accessible as possible. Since everyone knows how to add keywords to a text box and search, it seemed like a natural.

Text based keywords, dates and date ranges are all supported. The date fields are parsed according to the locale on your system so folks in the US and folks in the EU both get their date formats exactly as they want them.

Searches are done using generated CAML queries so IntelliGantt never inundates the network with a huge volume of web services data just to iterate over all the SharePoint list items locally.

The coolest thing, though? After seeing the screencast, I think its the ability to 'splice' the search with a selected list view on the fly. For example, you can easily combine a 'My Tasks' view with a keyword value of 'In Progress', 'Behind' or a date range. This makes it easy for SharePoint users to create specific views for their needs, and a deviously clever way for users to add the extra bits they need to personalize things for them.

We're just begun with our search text box and look forward to adding more features and cleverness.

No comments: