Building SharePoint 2016 development environment – Part 14 – Enterprise Search Centre

A few years ago I wrote “Build your SharePoint 2013 development machine on Windows Server 2012” series, I mainly work in the cloud now, but as the blogs was so popular, I thought I would create a new series for the newer version of SharePoint.

You can access other parts of this post below.

Creating a vanity name

  • Log into your domain controller. In Start type DNS and open the DNS Manager.
  • In the left hand pane, expand Forward Lookup Zones and click on
  • Right click on and select New Host (A or AAAA)…
  • Put in the name search, put the IP address point to the SharePoint Server. Click Add Host

Search Centre Web application

We are now going to create a new Web Application for our Search center site. We are going to create a path-based site collection.

  1. From the start menu, type SharePoint 2016 Central Administration and open the site.
  2. Select Application Management > Manage Web Applications.
  3. In the ribbon click the New icon
  4. In the Create New Web Application dialog leave Create a new IIS web site selected and set up the following
    1. Name: SharePoint Search – 33333,
    2. Port:33333
    3. Host Header: <Leave Blank>
    4. Path: <Leave as default>
    5. Allow Anonymous: No
    6. Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): Yes
    7. Claims authentication Types: Leave as is, enabled, integrated, NTLM
    8. Application Pool: Search – 33333
    9. Select Security Account: CFCODE2016\SP_Search
    10. Database Name: SP_SearchDB
  5. Click OK.
  6. After Web Application created, click OK.

IIS Bindings and AAMs.

  • . In Start type IIS and open IIS Manager
  • Navigate to SharePoint Search -33333 and then on the right hand panel, click Bindings…
  • On the Bindings dialog, select the bindings for port 33333 and click Edit
  • Leave the host name blank, but select your certificate. Click Ok
  • Click Add
  • In the Add Site Binding page, select https from the Type dropdown, leave the IP address as All Unassigned, the Port should say 443. Ensure you tick Require Server Name Indication. Enter the Host name as then select your certificate. Click OK
  • Open SharePoint 2016 Central Administration and select Application Management then Configure alternative access mappings.
  • On the right of the screen, change the Alternate Access Mapping Collection to SharePoint Search -33333
  • Click on the only entry https://cfsp2016:33333 and edit it to say, click OK.
  • Click Add Internal URLs enter https://cfsp2016:33333 click Save.
  • Click Add Internal URLs enter click Save.

Create Search Centre Site Collection

  1. From Central Administration landing page, select Application Management then select Create site collections
  2. Ensure the Web Application is then enter the following information:
    1. Title: Enterprise Search
    2. URL: /
    3. Template Selection: Enterprise > Enterprise Search Center
    4. Primary Site Collection Admin: SP_Setup
  3. Click OK.
  4. Once site is created, just click OK.

Give All users visitors access to Search.

  1. Once the site has been created, navigate to
  2. Go to Site Settings. Click the Cog icon at the top right of the page, then select Site Settings.
  3. Under Users and Permissions, click Site Permissions
  4. Click on Enterprise Search Visitors.
  5. On the menu bar, click New > Add Users
  6. Type and select Everyone. Click Share.

Configure Search Service Settings

  1. Back in Central Administration, select Application Management then Manage service applications.
  2. Click on Search Service Application.
  3. On the Search Service Application page, the top of the screen is already asking you Where should user’s searches go? Click on the location link.
  4. Enter the URL as Click OK.

Note: At this point I uploaded a document to my site.

Search Content Sources

Here we are going to configure the Content Sources so that it searches and brings back the correct content.

  1. Open SharePoint 2016 Central Administration.
  2. Open Application Management > Manage Service application > Search Service Application
  3. In the Quick Launch menu on the left, under Crawling click Content Sources
  4. Click on Local SharePoint Sites.
  5. In the Start Address remove everything apart from the following :
  6. Under Crawl Schedules we are going to set it up to run full crawl once a week and incremental once day. You may configure this differently or not at all for you environment. It really depends how much you need search to be up to date. It is quite an intensive resource process, and we are running everything on one box. Under Incremental Crawl,
    click on Create Schedule
  7. Set the Type as Daily. Accept the defaults and click OK.
  8. Under Full Crawl, click on Edit schedule. Set the Type as Weekly. Accept the defaults and click OK.
  9. Click OK
  10. Back on the Manage Content Source page, click New Content Source in the menu and fill out the following:
    1. Name: People
    2. Content Source Type: SharePoint Sites
    3. Start Addresses:
    4. Crawl Settings: Crawl everything under the hostname for each start address
    5. Crawl Schedule: (Same as Local SharePoint Sites, use the dropdown)

Setting the Super User and Super Reader account

  1. Back in SharePoint 2016 Central Administration, select Application Management > Manage Web Applications.
  2. Select SharePoint HNSC Web Application and then click User Policy from the ribbon.
  3. On the Policy for Web Application dialog, click the Add Users on the menu.
  4. Accept (All Zones) then click Next.
  5. Add the user cfcode2016\SP_SuperUser and tick Full Control. Click Finish
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for cfcode2016\SP_SuperReader and give Full Read rights.
  7. Click OK and close Policy for Web Application.

Kick off a full crawl

  1. Head back to the Search Service Application Service (Application Management > Manage Service Applications > Search Service Application.
  2. On the quick launch menu area, look for Content Sources under Crawling and click it.
  3. On the Manage Content Source page, click Start all crawls. This will kick of search crawling on your server.
  4. After crawling had finished, I headed to and searched for my document I uploaded earlier called “typescript”

Issue with People Search.

If you go to your People Search and type * but find no results come back, and you have followed everything correctly, I would ask you to check one thing.

  1. In SharePoint 2016 Central Administration, go to Application Management > Manage Service Applications. Then highlight the SharePoint User Profile Service Application.
  2. Click Administrator from the ribbon. Ensure that SP_Search is in there and has the permission Retrieve People Data for Search Crawlers, and ensure that SP_Farm is in there with Full Control.
  3. After updating this, run another full crawl, then try People search again.

We are almost at the end of the blog series on building a SharePoint 2016 development machine. Two more posts to go. Setting up workflows and setting up Visual Studio. Shut down your machines, take a checkpoint.