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When I search for something on our SharePoint publishing site it initially loads this page: /sites/sitename/_layouts/15/osssearchresults.aspx

On that page I can choose 'Results found in Everything', which goes to our Enterprise Search Center: /search/pages/results.aspx

What's the difference between these pages? Are they both searching the same index?

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They are both searching the same index. That page is scoped to the Site Collection only. The OSSSearchResults page was written by the devil back when he worked on the Windows SharePoint Services team. Remember that SharePoint is TWO products. It cannot be customized (well.. it CAN but you SHOULDN'T).

You can set the search settings for the Site Collection so that all search requests go directly to your Enterprise Search Center and avoid the OSS page. Look in Site Settings | Site Collection Administration | Search Settings for the Search Center URL.

  • "Remember that SharePoint is TWO products." - can you expand on this? – matt Sep 26 '15 at 15:31
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    SharePoint Server is built on top of SharePoint Foundation. Foundation is "free" and builds sites plus it supports Search, BDC and a few other service apps. SharePoint Server is significantly more features including User Profiles, a MUCH better search experience, BI and other services. The problem is that sometimes you get caught by foundation features when working in Server – Matthew McDermott Sep 27 '15 at 18:39

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