Using “DetectedLanguage” to return only localized results from SharePoint Search index

Localization and targeting of content in multilingual SharePoint installations is always an issue. SharePoint offers a multitude of ways profile content based on user language (or other properties), but none of the solutions are fool proof. This post describes how to fetch only localized results from SharePoint Search index, which solves at least some of the issues.

Description 

SharePoint Search index can be used in quite a few different ways. Probably the most typical way is by searching on SharePoint, or using webparts like Content Search or Content Results. However, one can also build custom functionality, custom client-side liftups, webjobs, single-page applications, mobile applications and a ton of other things that fetch data from SharePoint search index. However, on multilingual tenants, results are, by default, not localized at all. That means, that typically everyone will get the highest-ranking results back, despite them being in the wrong language. And that’s one of the many, many ways to annoy your users!

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Web part title changes not reflected to some users in multilingual SharePoint environment

​​When changing the web part title on a web part on a classic SharePoint page, changes seem to be saved for you. In reality, they are only reflected to some users.. And some users, on some devices, see the old title, whereas some see the new one. It’s a confusing situation and difficult to debug.

Why do web part titles get changed seemingly randomly?

Imagine this: You have a SharePoint environment, where you have multiple different languages set up. You also have users with multiple different workstation configurations – including multiple different languages. Different users, however, quite randomly see different revisions of web part titles in a very weird manner. This happens seemingly randomly even on new client devices, so no client-side caching is the reason.

This actually likely works as designed, it’s just kind of a confusing implementation. We’ve got Microsoft to blame for that, and their pretty bad documentation.. SharePoint actually localizes (and hence saves) Web part titles per-language.  Continue reading