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Continuously Searching for Continuous Crawls

Most content sources in SharePoint 2013 are crawled exactly the same way they were in SharePoint 2010 (Full and Incremental Crawls). If you happen to be crawling a SharePoint Site, however, there is a new crawl type called “Continuous Crawls”.

Screenshot showing Continuous Crawls as part of Crawl Schedules

Enabling this functionality is pretty straightforward – simply click the radio button for “Enable Continuous Crawls” and you’re good to go. By the way, you can choose Incremental or Continuous Crawls, but not both. Full crawls and Continuous crawls can both work together just fine.

 

Timing the Crawls
Continuous crawls can overlap, meaning that two or more can run at the exact same time. This is useful for environments where search freshness is paramount. If you start one crawl and it has passed a piece of content (but not completed), another crawl may start before the first has completed and add the new content to the index. This interval is set to every 15 minutes, by default.

 

So, What’s The Problem?

Well, it’s really not a problem, more of a rant. There is guidance on several sites (apparently all copied from Microsoft – plagiarism is rampant) that states that the interval for continuous crawls can be set via the Set-SPEnterpriseSearchCrawlContentSource cmdlet.

Well, I’m here to tell you, it ain’t – the previous statement is a load of hoo-ha (that’s a self-editing Texas-ism, by the way).

Click the link to see the contents of this cmdlet – there are exactly two switches which include the word “interval” for this cmdlet – both of these are used with the “Full” and “Incremental” crawl types only:

◦-CrawlScheduleRepeatInterval is used to specify the number of minutes between each repeat interval for the crawl schedule
◦-CrawlScheduleRunEveryInterval specifies the interval between crawls, and its meaning depends on either the DailyCrawlSchedule parameter (specifies days between crawls) or the WeeklyCrawlSchedule parameter (specifies weeks between crawls).

“These are not the droids you’re looking for. Move Along…”

After spending a little quality time “BINGing” the internet, I found the correct information on the SharePoint IT Pro Blog. It’s covered in Bella Engen’s article called the “Stage 4: Set up search and enable the crawling of your catalog content” article, part of her “How to set up a product-centric website in SharePoint Server 2013” series.

HOORAY!!!

So, per this article (in the section “How to set continuous crawl interval”), the continuous crawl interval is a property of the enterprise service application that you specify:

$ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication

$ssa.SetProperty(“ContinuousCrawlInterval”, 1)

The Result?

Adapting this to my need, I set the search app variable and then altered the property of the service application – All Good!

$searchapp = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication “Search Service Application”

$searchapp.SetProperty(“ContinuousCrawlInterval”, 1)