My public facing website has a large list of tax forms. I'd like to create a page with a search field on it so that customers can search for a form by year, type, or name. The results of the search would return the appropriate items from the large list. Is this possible in SP2010?

I've tried a couple of solutions but they all require that the user have a login to access the data from the list. Unfortunately, I am unable to alter the current user settings.

  • You will need to write custom visual web part using Visual Studio.. are you good with coding? Sep 26, 2014 at 21:32
  • Does your site have Anonymous Access? Assuming that anonymous users have access to the list, then they should not have to login when trying to access the data as described. If you can give anonymous users (read) access to your list, then what you are asking for is definitely possible. If you cannot, then it will require a custom web part via Visual Studio as the previous commenter said.
    – ssmolen
    Sep 26, 2014 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


SharePoint 2010 uses security trimming to determine what results a user can see when searching. Unless the user performing the search has read access to the item, they will not be able to see it in search results.

On a public-facing site, you probably have anonymous access turned on already (so that visitors can get to your front page). If the forms should be available to the public, then you will need to specifically grant anonymous access to the library or libraries housing those files. Otherwise, if customers already have a login for other purposes, it's just a matter of adding their existing account access to the files (preferably via a SharePoint permission group).

Aside from permission, you'll also need to make your custom fields (Year, Type) available as searchable meta-data. This can be done in Central Administration for the server farm. Here's a Google search to get you started:


The actual name of the file is searchable by default, along with Author, File Type, Created date, Modified Date, etc.

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