In an upgraded SharePoint 2013 site collection, I have a custom property - "Media Number" which is a single line of text field because the value is usually a few letters followed by a few numbers. When searching for values in this field I either get no results for a partial match or a few results using a wildcard match. So let's say I have items with media numbers like MYMN12345 - if I type MYMN into the search I would expect to potentially get hundreds of search results. Instead I get nothing. If I type MYMN* I also usually get nothing but sometimes it seems like I'll get some pages (views) - no actual documents come up in the search results. The same thing happens if I type in the whole value. This field is indexed and I added it to the managed properties in the site collection search schema. Really this should be searchable and I have no idea why it's not. Does anybody know how I can get my custom properties to be searchable?

This field is literally the most important field people might be searching for on our site.

This might be related to a separate issue I'm having (maybe they're the same issue), I realize - I looked at the search service application's crawl log and notice there were 700+ errors:

The SharePoint item being crawled returned an error when requesting data from the web
service. ( Error from SharePoint site )

Additionally, a deeper review of the crawl logs shows the crawler was getting 790~ successes as of a week ago, and about 3 days ago the error message above started happening. Of things that have been happening - added external URL and possibly Anonymous access (don't remember exactly when these things were added).


OK, so my real problem was twofold - first, my crawling was actually broken due to not having my zones (default, internet, etc) configured correctly. Second, I think I was expecting SharePoint search to work like Google. It does not.

  1. To fix the crawling issue I made sure I had my web application in the default zone with NTLM configured for access and the crawl account and everything. I then extended the web application to the Extranet zone and set that extended zone up with anonymous access and FBA and everything.

  2. To deal with the searching, I think I never really had a problem in the first place. To search by a partial word you can use the standard Windows * wildcard which is counter-intuitive to how most people think of searching, I think. Otherwise, like Mike said you can specify the field and the entire value you're searching for. Configuring your managed properties to be case-insensitive probably also helps.

  • Your question title is about "document ID". Are we talking custom document ID provider here? You have a "custom property" and you're talking about a site. Do you have a custom content type with a field? Are we talking site column and a list referencing the site column making it a list column?
    – Dennis G
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 15:35
  • 1
    yes I was actually asking two separate questions and must have put a similar title for both. question title updated. There is a custom content type with this field I mentioned above. Field = property = site column.[
    – Matt
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


With the various changes going on, it may be a good idea to just reset the index and run a full crawl. There are a lot of things, including the managed properties that get defined during that first full crawl so it is possible that it just isn't getting everything.

Also, make sure that the system is setup for full support for anonymous access. Search should still be setup using windows auth on the default zone, using a proper content access account for the crawling to function properly.

Lastly, when your content is properly indexed, I would encourage you to structure your queries with a specific property search to get the most relevant data. It would be something like "MediaNumber: 'MYMN12345'" if MediaNumber is the internal property name and MYMN12345 is the value.

  • wish I could mark two answers. this was pretty helpful.
    – Matt
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 15:05

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