Tag Archives: Search

How To Specify People as a Search Scope / Content Source Using SharePoint 2013 REST API

I had reason to work with the SharePoint 2013 Search API via REST for the first time.  I wanted to search for people, not documents.  The key learning here is that you specify content sources via its GUID (or at least in this case). The following jQuery snippet shows how:

    loadExpertsAsync: function() {

        jQuery.support.cors = true;

            url: this.CreateFullApiUrl() +
                "?querytext='portals'&sourceid='b09a7990-05ea-4af9-81ef-edfab16c4e31'" +
                "&selectproperties='LinkedInProfileUrl,GoogleCirclesProfileUrl,BALargeProfilePictureUrls,BAGridPictures,WorkEmail,Skills,AboutMe,Interests,JobTitle,PastProjects,PictureURL,PreferredName,TwitterHandle,LinkedInProfileUrl,PreferredName,GoogleCirclesProfileUrl'" +
            method: "GET",
            headers: { "Accept": "application/json; odata=verbose" },
            cache: false,
            success: function (result) {

In my case, I’m running the API against SharePoint online. To get the GUID, I followed these steps:

  1. Access the SharePoint admin center
  2. Select “search” from the left hand navigation
  3. Select “Manage Result Sources”
  4. Select “Local People Results”
  5. Look at the URL.

My URL looked something like:


The sourceid parameter is what worked for me.

(I understand that the sourceid may actually be a sort of permanent thing with SP, but I’ll always check anyway 🙂 ).


undefinedSubscribe to my blog.

Follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/pagalvin

Example SharePoint REST Calls

Here’s a set of sample REST calls that work for me and may help you out as well.  As of 02/2014, there are two examples 🙂

  1. Reference a Column With Spaces In Its Name
  2. Reference a Multi-Select Column
  3. Perform a People Search via REST


I’ll add to this as time passes.

Here are some useful inks I’ve found as well:

Reference a Column With Spaces In Its Name

I create a custom list with a column named “Blog Author” (space between Blog and Author).

The $select to reference that column is:


Simply replace the space with “_x0020_”.  We see the _x0020_ in many examples across the internets and REST is no different.

If you don’t do that, you’re liable to get an error message like this:

The expression “Blog Author” is not valid.

Easy enough.

Reference a Multi-Select Lookup Column

Set up:

  1. Create a custom list named Categories.
  2. Add some categories.  I added categories thusly:image
  3. Create another custom list called MockBlog and add Categories as a multi-select list column (or site column if that’s how you roll).

Add some items to your Mockblog list and you’re ready.

An Ajax style call using jQuery will look something like this:

serverUrl += "/_api/web/lists/GetByTitle('MockBlog')/items" +
             "?$select=Title,Categories/Title,Blog_x0020_Author/Title" + 

We’re telling SharePoint “Give me the title for all the Categories (Categories/Title). Get the actual values for Title by $expanding the Categories list.”  (My RESTful paraphrasing is probably pretty loose, but this how I’m interpreting it).

If you’re doing this via JavaScript and using Fiddler to look at the output, you get something like this in return:



(The above is a JSON object)

Perform a People Search via REST

I blogged about this separately. The key is to specify a sourceid parameter whose value is the GUID of the Local People content source. (Content sources used to be called scopes and it’s my-oh-my so hard not to call everything a scope for me!).

Read more about it here: http://www.mstechblogs.com/paul/?p=10385



undefinedSubscribe to my blog.

Follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/pagalvin