The Microsoft Search functionality provisions the end user to search a wide range of content like documents, images, videos, audios, etc. within a SharePoint site. In SharePoint On-premise, a user can configure the Search Service Application and crawl the content of the various sites. While SharePoint Online provides both modern and classic search experience to an end user.

Nowadays, users are using the different version of SharePoint On-premise and there is need to get the content of one version into another. To achieve this, SharePoint development team is providing support to crawl the content from the below versions refers below the table.

Sr.NoSP VersionSupported Crawl SP Version
1SharePoint Server 2013SharePoint Server 2007 and SharePoint Server 2010
2SharePoint Server 2016SharePoint Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2013

Users are also using SharePoint On-premise and SharePoint Online, so there is a need to search the content among them. The content is searched inside the SharePoint server and Office 365 separately and they have their own search index repository.

Microsoft without cloud hybrid search

Microsoft has introduced a concept of the cloud hybrid search and in this concept, the crawled content is indexed in the search index which resides in the Office 365.

Microsoft with cloud hybrid search

Let’s configure the Cloud Hybrid Search with Office 365 and SharePoint 2016, and understand it in more depth.

Pre-Requisites Before Configuration

Below are the pre-Requisites which are needed to be fulfilled before configuration of SharePoint 2016 Hybrid Search.

Register a Public Domain with Office 365

There is a default domain in format when a user signs up for the Office 365. This default domain works perfectly fine for the trial version and to carry out some testing on an environment. When there is a circumstance in which a user is required to deploy the Office 365 service to an organization, the user must require to use a custom domain thus the customers and users can identify the organization by URL itself.This procedure contains three main tasks:

1. Add a Domain

  • Go to Office 365 Admin and click on the Domains tab by expanding the Setup section.
  • Click on Add domain from Domains page.Add Domains
  • Specify the name of the domain in the text box and click on Next.Specify the name of the Domain

2. Verify Domain

  • The next step after adding a domain is to verify it.
  • There are two ways to verify the domain:
    • Sign in to GoDaddy (recommended)
    • Add a TXT record insteadAdd a TXT record
  • Based on a user’s requirement, he can choose any one of the verification approaches. Here, we are proceeding with the recommended approach i.e. Sign in to GoDaddy.
  • Log into GoDaddy and confirm access for Office 365 to makes changes to the domain at GoDaddy.
  • GoDaddy automatically contacts to the Domain registrar and also proceed with the verification.
  • After the verification, it displays the success message.

3. Update the DNS Settings

  • Once verification is completed, update the DNS settings. For updating DNS settings, again there are two options to provision it and they are:
    1. Add the DNS records for me (recommended)
    2. I’ll add the DNS records myself.
  • Based on a user’s requirement, he can update the DNS settings by choosing any option. Here, we are proceeding with the recommended approach i.e. Add the DNS records for me and click on Next.update dns settings
  • From “Choose your online services” screen, check all 3 options (Exchange, Skype for business and Mobile Device Management for Office 365) and click on Next.Choose your online services
  • Provide valid credentials in the Domain Manager Login screen and click on Sign In.Domain manager
  • It displays the DNS records which are added to the newly created domain at GoDaddy and click on Next update dns setting
  • It displays the success message. Click on Finish.

Add User on Newly Created Domain

To add a new user in the newly created domain walkthrough the below-mentioned steps.

  • Click on Users Active users from Left panel.
  • From Active users page, click Add a user.add a user
  • Enter requires details for a new user and choose the newly created domain. Click on Add.add a user fig 2
  • The new user is listed on the Active user’s page. Click on the newly created user on active users page
  • Click on Manage roles.Manage roles
  • Select the user role as Global administrator & save it.Global administrator

Add a UPN Prefix to Local AD that Matches the Public Domain

  • Select Active Directory Domain and Trusts from the Server hosting the Active Directory.
  • Right click on the root node and select Properties.Right click on the root node and select Properties.
  • This will open up the below window. In this add the public domain which is registered earlier with Office 365 and click on OK.ok window

Add a User to Local Active Directory

  • Open the Active Directory Users and Computers.
  • Click on the user and follow the below image to add a new user.add image to server
  • Enter the details of a new user and click on Next.Enter details of a new user
  • Type password for the new user & check Password never expires check box. Click Next.type a password, check never expiers checkbox
  • The last screen summarized the details of the newly created user to verify it. Click Finish if every detail is proper.details of newly created user
  • Now right click on the newly created user and click
  • Open the “Account” tab & select the domain which is earlier added as “UPN Suffix” from the dropdown and click OK.upn suffix
  • Add the newly created user in “Enterprise Admins” group. Open the Member Of tab and click Add.Enterprise admins
  • Enter “Enterprise Admins” and click OK.Enterprise admins configuration
  • Now the user is added on Enterprise Admins group. Verify it and click OK.Verify Enterprise admin group

Sync Local Active Directory with the Azure Active Directory

For this action, a user must have active Azure Subscription and access to Azure AD. To synchronize follow below steps:

  • Download “Azure AD Connect” from here.
  • Click on downloaded setup to start the installation. Agree to terms and conditions, and click Continue.Welcome AD Azure connect
  • Click on “Use express settings”.Express settingsExpress settings 2
  • Here provide the credentials of Office 365 account which is created in the newly configured ( domain.credentials of office 365, newly created domain
  • Enter the credential of the Local AD user which is under the newly created domain (e.g. domain/Sp2016User).enter credentials of Local ADNote: Here to perform an Azure AD sign in, the UPN prefixes which we had added to the on premise Active directory should match with the verified public domain in Azure (
  • Check for the newly created domain must be verified and click on Next as shown in below image.
  • Note: If any other dummy domain is there and it’s not verified then it’s ok. Check the checkbox for “Continue without matching all UPN suffix to verified domains”.Azure AD signin configuration
  • Click on Install to start the synchronization process.Installation start
  • Finally, the configuration has completed, click on Exit.configuration complete
  • Head over to Office 365 to check the synchronization status. All the On-premise users have been added to Office 365 as part of the synchronization process. Click Users  Active users  Refresh and check On-premise users.Active users

Configuration of Cloud Search Service Application

Create Cloud Search Service Application from UI

  • To create a Cloud Search Service Application follow below steps in SharePoint Server 2016 machine:
    • Open the Central Administration as administrator.
    • Go to Application Management  Manage service application.Manage service application
    • Click New > Search Service Application.

Note: It’s quite similar to the process of creating a normal Search Service Application except that user have to select an extra checkbox ‘Cloud Search Service Application’ to make it Cloud Search Service Application.

Give the name to search service application and click OK.

  • Give the name to search service application and click OK.create new search service application
  • Now, a user can verify the search service is created or not from the “Manage service Application page”.

Connect Cloud Search service application to Office 365 tenant

To complete the Cloud Hybrid Search set-up, a user must require to connect the created Cloud Search Service Application to the Office 365 tenant. Microsoft has provided the script to automate the On-boarding of the Cloud Search Service Application and Office 365 to the Cloud Hybrid search. A user can get the script named “Onboard-CloudHybridSearch.ps1” from here.

onboard cloud hybrid search

In order to run the Onboard-CloudHybridSearch.ps1 script, we have some prerequisites that need to be completed:

  • Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant
    • Download Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant from this link.
    • Select the 64-bit version.
    • Run the downloaded set-up and accept the agreement to install.
  • Install PowerShell for Azure Active Directory
  • Open Windows PowerShell in administration mode and type following command:
    Install-Module –Name Msonline

Optional: In case, if it gives error please follow below steps:

Install 64-bit version PackageManagement PowerShell Modules Preview from this link

  • After installing the above package, re-type following command in Windows PowerShell:
    Install-Module –Name Msonline
  • Press yes, if it asks any power shell
  • Run the On-boarding ScriptIn order to complete the on-boarding of Cloud search Service Application and Office 365 on to Cloud hybrid search follow below steps.
    1. Run the Onboard-CloudHybridSearch.ps1 script in the SharePoint Management shell with the administrator.sharepoint administrator management shell
    2. It will ask for few parameters:
      • Portal URL: Specify the SharePoint Online URL of the organization.
        • Administrator Credentials: It will also ask for the Office 365 global administrator credentials. Enter credentials and click OK.
      • enter office 365 office credentials
    • This will complete the Onboarding process and will register the Cloud hybrid search.complete the onboarding process

Create a content source to crawl for cloud hybrid search.

  • As a final step in configuring the Cloud hybrid search, a user is required to create a content source and run a full crawl in SharePoint 2016 On Premise Server.
  • Click the Cloud Search Service Application which was created from Central Admin in 6.1 section.
  • It will open the Search Administration page. Select Content Sources under Crawling from the left navigation pane. Skip to main content Skip to toolbar About WordPress Tatvasoft Australia Blog 2020 comments awaiting moderation New View Post SEO Enter a focus keyphrase to calculate the SEO score G'day, TatvaSoft AU Developer Log Out WordPress 5.0.3 is available! Please notify the site administrator. Edit Post Add New Post draft updated. Preview post Enter title here Permalink:…ch-configuration/ ‎ 8 ol » li » ol » li » ul » li 2 Word count: 1718 Draft saved at 8:33:43 pm. Last edited by TatvaSoft AU Developer on January 28, 2019 at 4:52 pm Preview (opens in a new window) Status: Draft Edit Edit status Visibility: Public Edit Edit visibility Revisions: 23 Browse Browse revisions Publish immediately Edit Edit date and time Readability: OK SEO: Not available Move to Trash All Categories Most Used Web Development Application Development ASP.NET Development BizTalk Development Cloud Computing Ecommerce Development Google iPhone Development JAVA Development mCommerce Development Mobile App Development PHP Web Development RIA Development Search Engine Optimization SharePoint Development Software Development Company Web Design Web Development Australia + Add New Category Add New Tag Separate tags with commas Go Premium Content optimisation Enter a focus keyphrase to calculate the SEO score Social SEO title preview: SharePoint 2016 Hybrid Search Configuration - Tatvasoft Australia Blog URL preview: › blog › sharepoint-2016-hybrid-search-configuration Meta description preview: Please provide a meta description by editing the snippet below. If you don’t, Google will try to find a relevant part of your post to show in the search results. Thank you for creating with WordPress. Version 4.9.9 SharePoint 2016 Hybrid Search Configuration - Tatvasoft Australia Blog Add Media Filter by type Filter by date Search Media Attachment Details search-administration.png January 28, 2019 32 KB 602 × 491 Edit Image URL Title Caption Alt Text Description Smush 3 images reduced by 23.8 KB ( 23.9% ) Image Size: 32.4 KB View Stats Attachment Display Settings Alignment Link To Size 1 selected
  • From the Content Sources page, create New Content Source. This will open up the page, where a user can provide the Content Source Name, its type and the start addresses i.e. site URLs from where the crawling needs to start.add new content source
  • A user can also schedule the incremental and full crawls to take place in the Server.crawl schedules
  • The incremental crawl is scheduled to run daily, weekly or monthly. We have set the incremental crawl to run daily at 30 minutes intervals.manage schedules
  • On the other hand, the full crawl can also be scheduled to run daily, weekly or monthly. We have set it to run every day at 12 AM.manage schedules 2
  • After scheduling the crawls, the configuration will look like as shown below in the image.crawl configuration
  • Now, let’s go ahead and run a full crawl.complete crawl configuration
  • We are running the craw for the first time so even if we click on incremental crawl then also a full crawl will take place and the time taken will depend upon the amount of the content within the content source.

Test Results

  • Once the crawling has completed on the above step, login to SharePoint online site.
    Note: Login user must be inside the configured domain (ex:
  • Now search for IsExternalContent:1.
  • ‘IsExternalContent: 1’ is a property, which gives the search results only from the On Premise environment. This will list search results from SharePoint 2016 On Premise Server in the SharePoint Online Search Page and thus indicates a successful Hybrid Search Configuration.isExternalContent Property


The Cloud Hybrid Search furnishes the content of both SharePoint On-premise and Office 365 to be available for an end user in unified search results. An end user does not require to panic for the search index as it is in the Office 365 and also not require to migrate the search index to the newer version of SharePoint servers as it is provisioned by Office 365 automatically. A user also experiences the SharePoint Online search without updating existing SharePoint servers.

Vishal Shah

Vishal Shah has an extensive understanding of multiple application development frameworks and holds an upper hand with newer trends in order to strive and thrive in the dynamic market. He has nurtured his managerial growth in both technical and business aspects and gives his expertise through his blog posts.

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