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I am using Network Solutions hosted SharePoint services (WSS 3.0) and the search function is not working.

When I contacted their support desk they said that this feature has been turned off because all their customers are on one shared server (and I guess one instance of WSS3.0) and therefore if I search from my sub site I would get results from all their customers sites as well.

Does this sound plausible? Other companies offer MOSS on shared servers and I'm sure that they wouldn't get many customers if they were unable to use search. To my way of thinking the user permissions would restrict the results to my site only but I may be wrong.

If this is the case, how would the administrator (Network Solutions in this case) configure WSS3.0 so that the search function would be limited to the customer's site?

In a similar way, once searching is enabled, can I restrict searching within my own subsites, for example, I have mydomain/QA and mydomain/RD. If someone with permissions to mydomain searches he/she should see everything but if someone is logged on to the QA site they should not see what is on RD.

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If it is still an option then I would seriously consider finding a new hosting provider or at least looking around. I have 0 experience in hosted SP, but this just sounds wrong. –  Charles Lee Mar 4 '10 at 21:47
    
I certainly wish I had know about the limitations that Network Solutions have put on their SharePoint offering - of course it doesn't say on their web site that searching is not enabled! –  Anonymous Mar 4 '10 at 22:44
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You have virtually zero admin dials available for search in WSS 3.0. Just forget about it and opt for Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express, which is also free. Technically, MSS 2008 is WSS 3.0 + MOSS 2007 Search. Only thing missing is the BDC and people search - but it sounds like you can survive without that. You can upgrade your WSS 3.0 to MSS 2008 or you can setup a new server on the side and let it index your WSS 3.0 servers.

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Unfortunately I don't have the option of putting something else on the server side as it is hosted by Network Solutions –  Anonymous Mar 4 '10 at 22:42
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Ok! The default and only search scope in WSS 3.0 is "This site" which means the search will only return content from the current site and sub-sites. Hence, you will not see results from other site collections owned by other customers. Moreover, the built-in security trimming should also prevent users from seeing results they are not authorized to view. –  Lars Fastrup Mar 4 '10 at 22:54
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