Today I started to work on a mock-up of a People Directory which is not utilizing anything else, but a Content Search Web Part due to the easy customization Display Templates and the powerful features it offers. It already has som good templates like Large picture for example, that will be all I need + Department and Job Title (which will be managed properties, linked to a term set).
Even though this Web Part is heavily promoted and is supposed to enhance/replace the good old CQWP, it doesn't work right away as you'd expect (at least in SharePoint Online).
Let's imagine you create a blank page and you add the Web Part.
You then configure your query - it'll be very simple "@*onmicrosoft.com" so that I can get all the people from my demo tenant
As you can see, the query is tested and it simply works. Then you save your Web Part and get this:
Some people suggested that this Web Part is not available in SharePoint Online Plan 1 and they've been in touch with Microsoft Support .... which I have to use in production... but I couldn't find an official source stating that. I think that's old information, I think the web part was not even available in SharePoint Online in the beginning. I know it's definitely not available on-premise if you don't have the Enterprise version.
I've also tested this on my demo tenant which is on SharePoint Online Plan 2... and I got the same results. Turns out pretty simple, I just had to enable the Cross Site Publishing feature on the site collection and the web part works.
+ a little bit of CSS = a sample of my desired outcome:
The next thing is to find out which properties we want displayed in these boxes, if they're custom ones they should be mapped to a managed property first before we can stick them in here.
But that will be another blog post :)