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I've been researching this concept for a long time - stumped. I am only a site owner (no real permissions, limited designer ability). Have been able to accomplish most of my non out-of-the-box supported features through custom client-side code, but really stuck here.

I want a "welcome" page (just a blank page) that has the following search options:

  1. text box
  2. drop down menu (group)
  3. drop down menu (division)

The combination of these values should return the list of items. The text, group, and division fields are columns on the list we are searching.

I've tried:

-various filtering mechanisms in designer

-jQuery/JavaScript (i'm not very good)

-_layouts/OSSSearchResults.aspx page (no luck)

Within designer, there are many options that will suffice, but how can i establish the connection with a particular list, and the columns stored within?

i feel like this is very simple - just a simple search feature. please help.

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How is the data structured? IS this a single list, multiple lists, lookups, etc? – Dave Wise Apr 4 '13 at 19:52
it is a single list. the group and division columns are lookups. – Bill Apr 4 '13 at 20:22

Populating the dropdowns can be done with jQuery and SharePoint Web Services but getting the search results to honor those values as hard constraints will probably be less likely. It can certain be done in Standard or Enterprise but I'm not sure about Foundation. You might have to just make do with what can be done...

Have your javascript pull back the various values as needed then format them into the query string and search on all of the values. It is hardly ideal but should get close.

Alternatively, if the text search is against a single field in the list then you could also skip search entirely and pass those values on the URL as filter parameters to a list view. (the linked article is for SharePoint 2003 but the mechanism is still there and still works the same)

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sounds promising - thanks for the wise words. will let you know how things go. – Bill Apr 5 '13 at 1:50

Have a look here - this should give you a starter:$().SPServices.SPCascadeDropdowns

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thanks - have already implemented the cascading dropdown (for the columns in this custom search actually). – Bill Apr 5 '13 at 1:49

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