For a while now I've been talking about the Cloud Search Service Application that was introduced both in SharePoint 2016 Preview and in the August 2015 Cumulative Update for SharePoint 2013.

There’s been more and more coming out with this. Now there's not a lot of documentation, so every time something comes out I feel obligated to tweet it, blog it and tell you guys about it — and last week, one of those things came out.

This was on the Enterprise Search Blog on MSDN — a big article on this Cloud Search Service Application (CSSA)‎.

Links! Tips! More!

It's got a good breakdown of where it works and how things flow all over inside of search. It's got a ton of links. I swear it's got a link to everything on the web that's got a reference to this whatsoever, so it's great to have those all in one place.

Then it goes through and kind of describes how things work — with a million and six links — then it walks through the setup and configuration.

For your search service application to work with Office365, it has to be built with a very specific array "cloud index equals TRUE" parameter. By that definition, you can't re-use the SSA you already have. You have to build a new one.

And this blog post goes into great detail on how that all works. It provides PowerShell scripts to create the CSSA. And if you want to use your own script, like I use my own, it tells you what you need to add to that.

It also provides all of the on-boarding scripts because having the CSSA built is not enough. You need to on-board it in Office365.

Read It Once - and Then Again

The post provides all of that, and most importantly, there's a bunch of helpful troubleshooting. So after everything gets working, then you can see where things are supposed to flow when you crawl. You can see where documents should go.

I'm super happy about that because I've installed the CSSA on one farm, and it's broken. I can't get it to work, and there's not been a lot of documentation out there about what to look for and what events look like and where to log — things like that.

This blog post has that, so I read through it again today. And tomorrow, after a good nights sleep and a couple of cups of coffee and with renewed vigor and energy, I will attack this CSSA, and hopefully get it working.

I think I missed a couple of steps before the on-boarding process. That might be one of the problems. So I’m going to re-read the post. It’s super long,  but if you're going to use this thing it'll really help and I think you'll appreciate it.

So, speaking of patches -- last week, I talked a little bit about the September 2015 cumulative update for SharePoint 2013 and how it was not an Uber patch and how there were six or seven different patches depending on what you were patching that you had to install.

Uber Excited Now

Well, thank goodness, Microsoft re-released the SharePoint 2013 cumulative update in the Uber Format, in the Uber Fashion.

It includes the previous patches, ya know, the way the good Lord intended. They're all right there. So, this dials back the already complex SharePoint patching from an 8 to a 7 and a half, maybe even a  7 and three quarters.

Solid progress made in that dial-back. I've installed the Uber patches in one farm, and that was all working, and then today when I got this all set up to check my links, I went and installed the Uber patch in another farm.  Seems to work fine.

Seems to be the same build version — 4753.1000, the same build number as the individual patches were. So it looks like it was nothing but a packaging change.

It didn't take me long. It took less than an hour. Again, this was a single server, kind of a test environment.

By all means, let me know if you have any problems installing this or any other patches. As far as I know, there are no regressions with the September Cumulative update. Everything seems to be working well.

But if you find any let me know, hit me up on twitter @ToddKlindt or send me an email.

On to Other Things

Exhausted from reading? As always, there's more for you in Podcast 261. So just sit back and watch the podcast or listen on iTunes. The links below will take you right to the content mentioned.

14:09 - Russ Maxwell's SharePoint script saves a ton of time. Mercy Lord does it make things easier

15:11 - Azure AD Premium Dashboard is in preview It requires a premium for Azure Active Directory, but it gives you a one stop shop for kind of an overview of what's going on in your Azure AD tenant

17:33 - Microsoft Band 2 release is coming. Some photos have been leaked on the web.

24:56 - Office 365 Import Service—migration to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business just became easier