Federated Search was introduced with an infrastructure update in MOSS 2007. Federated Search basically uses the index created by other search engine ( in our case index created by SharePoint 2010 Search). It supplies the keyword that you entered and gets the result from that Index. 

In the internet you will find a lot of blogs talking about gettins search results from bing, youtube etc.

This blog talks about how to get search result from another SharePoint 2010 Farm. This is important when you have distributed SharePoint 2010 Infrastructure.

Before I take you through the steps on configuration, let me talk about my lab setup. 2 SharePoint 2010 Farm (Farm A - sharepoint2010, Farm B - sp2010) ,1 domain (contoso.com) -> A simple lab setup.

My Expectation : when I search in Farm A, the search core results web part will display content/search results from Farm A , and in a Federated Results web part I will get results for the same keyword from Farm B.

Steps to configure it: ( To achieve this configuration, you need to member of Farm Administrator group)

Step1 : Go to Central Administration of Farm A. Click on Manage Service Application -> Search Service Application

Step2:  Choose Federated Locations under Queries and Results.

Step3:  Click on New Location.

Step4: Give a Location Name (without any spaces), display name ,description and Author (optional)

Step5: Leave the version blank, Under the Trigger choose "Always: Query should always match".

Step6 : In the Location type choose "OpenSearch 1.0/1.1", and in the Query template specify the template in the following format http://server/SearchCenter/_layouts/srchrss.aspx?k={searchTerms}  .In my scenario is was http://sp2010:81/Search/_layouts/srchrss.aspx?k={searchTerms} (sp2010 is FARM B)

Step7: Leave rest of the things to default except the Specify Credetials section. Here choose he relevant one for your environment. I have chosen NTLM - Specify a suername and password under Common.

Step8 : Click OK.Go your Enterprise Search Site in Farm A. Type in a  keyword. When you get to the search results page, click on Site Actions and Edit Page.

Step9 : When the page is changed to Edit Mode. Click on Add web part and choose Federated Results web part. Its found under the Categories Search.

Step10 : Once you have added the Federated Results Web part, choose the right Location by going to Edit Web part. Click Apply and OK.


There you have it!!.. Search results from two SharePoint 2010 farms in a single search. You can add multiple federated results web part to get data from multiple SharePoint farms.

Happy Federating!!!.. :)