Content Search web part
New in SharePoint 2013, the Content Search web part was built to help with the limitations of the Content Query web part which was only able to “roll up” content that was contained within the same site collection. The Content Search web part has the ability to tap into the search index which automatically spans site collections and even web applications. An interesting point is that this web part is NOT available in Office365, I’m guess they still need to work through some additional multi-tenant situations but you can look forward to using this new tool in your On Premise solutions.
The power of the content search web part comes with the wizard based approach to utilizing the query builder, refiner options and advanced configuration options in the web part which processes these changes in real time. Another interesting note is that this web part can now also be context sensitive based on the user that is accessing the web part. This context sensitive nature can inject keywords into a search query based off of profile property values and property bag values which makes this web part a must have for any composite solution where custom code is not needed. This web part has a heavy dependency on query rules which also helps you build out your solution without requiring any user input to perform a search against the index.
In order to support the new customizations many of the search web parts have been rebuilt including: Search Box, Refinement Panel, Core Results and Search Navigation.
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