Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Issues when requesting the Search Results page with no query in SharePoint 2010

After some vacation time in July I'm back to share some of the experiences with SharePoint, this time from the backlog I have for posting here. Although SharePoint 2010 mainstream support will expire soon (Oct 13, 2015) there are still a number of customers using it.

For one of our clients, we've had to design a custom big shiny button that leads to their Search Center (read: Results page) but without the need for users to type in any query before hitting the button. Something similar to this, in the middle of a Publishing page where we've removed the default Search Box webpart on the client's request.

That's a quick and easy thing, if we don't count the numerous design iterations that we've done of course. Once implemented in the test environment though, we have faced some issues.

Whenever you try to search for a keyword, nothing happens. Your Search Query box is reset to empty. So you try again... and again. This was a very intermittent behavior, after some time... it will eventually work. It was also working always for admin accounts. The ULS logs would show:

System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException: The security validation for this page is invalid. Click Back in your Web browser, refresh the page, and try your operation again.    at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.ValidateFormDigest(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.ValidateFormDigest(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName) 7ee02ec8-2297-4816-b3c8-b31f0150d81d

Initially one would think to disable the Web Page Security Validation on the web application... which is totally not a good idea and brings more issues when trying to save site as templates, etc.

After a lot of digging, I've found no way of fixing this, so we've changed the behaviour of the Search button to not go to the results page directly with no query, but instead require the user to input a query before that. 

Now that works fine and everyone's happy. Not sure if this is by design, but out of the box Search Webparts would require you to type your query before you can go to the results, so it might be.

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