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Cross Site Publishing in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 cross site publishing allows content authors to create content in a site collection, called Authoring site collection, different from the one where content is published. The clear separation of content from its presentation allows authors to write and manage content without worrying about how and where it will be published. The other obvious benefit is that the content can be consumed by many publishing sites and presented differently.
So how does SharePoint 2013 achieve that its predecessors couldn’t? It leverages already in place, powerful search infrastructure which is capable of indexing diverse range of data sources. The presentation is typically built using Search web parts that are configured to query content in authoring site collection.
Authoring site collection and publishing site collection must be prepared for cross site publishing. See step by step configuration of cross site publishing here.
Preparing authoring site collection:

  1. Share the content: Not all content in an authoring site collection is available for publishing. In fact the content meant to be shared must be marked explicitly. It is done by configuring lists and libraries to use as catalogs and then configuring catalog connections which allows you to specify which sites or site collection can access them. Alternatively, anonymous read access can be granted.
  2. Tag the content: Terms can be used to associate metadata with the content in authoring site collection which will be indexed later along with the content. The same term set can be pinned in publishing site collection to build managed navigation.
  3. Turn on search service: Ensure that the search service is enabled as the content won’t be available to publishing site collection until it is indexed.

Preparing publishing site collection:

  1. Catalog Connections: With catalog connections, you can specify catalogs to be used in a publishing site collection.
  2. Create presentation Elements: Use existing master pages, page layouts or create your own elements to build the chrome.The term set in authoring site collection can be pinned and used as a navigation. Then create pages, drop search web parts and configure them to access the content


  1. Only HTML content is indexed. Other content such as PDFs, BLOBs such as images and videos aren’t indexed and must be referenced directly. Even word and excel documents are treated as BLOBs.
  2. Metadata associated with an item are represented as crawled properties when content is indexed. Later these crawled properties are mapped to manged properties. SharePoint automatically creates these managed properties for you. Check this for more details


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Parshva Vora

Parshva Vora is a Technical Architect at Perficient since 2009 and has extensive experience building enterprise solutions, portals and software products using Microsoft technologies.

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