Published July 16, 2021

We’re updating the Hybrid federated search

Reference ID: MC270671 | Effective: October 1, 2021

MC270671 – Microsoft is making some changes to the Hybrid federated search. As part of search modernization in Microsoft 365 Microsoft is updating the infrastructure used by SharePoint Server’s Hybrid federated search. As part of the process, customers who are using the Hybrid federated search with hybrid SharePoint deployments will need to update their configuration to continue using hybrid search with SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online.

If you are not actively using or have implemented the Hybrid federated search with on-premises SharePoint, you can safely ignore this communication.

Key points

  • Timing: By October 1, 2021 customers using the Hybrid federated search with SharePoint Server will need to update their configuration to continue using hybrid search features with SharePoint Online.
  • Roll-out: tenant level
  • Control type: admin control
  • Action: review, assess, and apply configuration change by October 1, 2021

How this will affect your organization:

The necessary configuration is provided as a Windows PowerShell script that is used to adjust an existing SharePoint Hybrid configuration to successfully work and authenticate using the new Microsoft 365 search engine.

There are three main procedures executed as part of the script:

  1. Register a new Service Principal for Federated Search Skill in SharePoint Online.
  2. Register a new Application Principal for Federated Search Skill in SharePoint On-Premises.
  3. Grant appropriate permissions to SharePoint On-Premises Federated Search Skill Application Principal.

Running the script will require an account with SharePoint Farm Global Administrator privileges and must be run on all servers in the server farm.

  • There is no need to run the script on Reverse Proxy, SQL Server, Domain Controllers or Active Directory Federation Services machines.
  • Users will see no changes when this change is implemented.

Note: In the event you have not updated your servers by October 1, 2021 as outlined, users will no longer receive on-premises SharePoint results in SharePoint Online. Applying the configuration change will not affect the user experience.

What you need to do to prepare:

To apply the configuration change, please download the configuration script.

  • From the directory where the script was downloaded, run Update-FederatedHybridSearchForM365.ps1 -HybridWebApp [YourHybridWebApplication] [-Force].

For more information on the parameter values please run the following command:

  • Get-Help .\Update-FederatedHybridSearchForM365.ps1

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