Implement Synonyms / Thesaurus in SharePoint Online
The ability to create a thesaurus of synonyms is invaluable, and exists in on-premises SharePoint but not SPO, this should be remedied.
Customers use the Search Thesaurus feature for many scenarios: to map acronyms to their expanded terms, to provide relevant results when companies merge or are acquired, to map corporate vocabularies to "plain English," and many more.
This would also make it possible to allow "Other Labels" including alternate languages in a Term Set to also be treated as synonyms in search results, which IIRC is the way it works on-premises but it also seems we've lost the ability in SPO.
These gaps not remedied by Graph or Delve, and the inconsistent UX between on-premises and SPO is a potential show-stopper for some enterprise migrations. Though some have suggested workarounds using Query Rules or client-side scripts to embed expanded synonyms in search results, query rules do not scale for maintenance or performance, and the existing client-side solutions are neither complete nor supported. We need a proper remedy to bring SharePoint Online search back up to par with both the on-premises version and the competition.
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So this was suggested 5 years ago now and is really a major feature that is missing from MS Search. When can we expect a decision on this?
Chris Ficek commented
The use of synonyms is extremely important for our organization. Without this, we are not able to find related documents based on metadata selected. For instance, if we had a product ABC-6500, it is associated with the ABC-65XX family, we want it to surface both documents.
The workaround mentioned in the description above will not work for us as well. Using a query of WORDS(term, term2) will work but it is not efficient as 1) users may not be familiar with the correct terms to use 2) the query string could be lengthy
If Microsoft is trying to move us away from classic experience for modern, we need solution that will improve the searchability of these associated documents based on synonyms across the tenant.
Robert Schouten commented
Would love to see this added to Microsoft Search and also be available to external data in Graph connectors. Enterprise customers demand these kind of search options.
Mithhil Arora commented
Synonyms have been extremely useful for my organization to present results to our users based on similar meaning search terms. Especially around enterprise terminology which needs to be supplied as an input to make search work as expected.
Keith Wilder commented
The synonym / thesaurus feature in SharePoint 2013 on-prem was mission critical for the knowledge center we implemented. It is critical that the feature gets implemented in SharePoint Online asap.
Without this feature the value of search is very limited in a Corporate environment
Hello, this feature is pre-requisite to migrate SP On Premise to SharePoint Online. What is the roadmap for this functionality?
Debanshu Debroy commented
This is a very critical feature and can be useful for any corporation. We all know corporations have a whole bunch of internal Acronyms. Actually, it would be even more powerful to define them at a site collection or subsite level.
Torsten Schuster commented
yes for an creative it is urgent to find on a English system for example grandfather by searching for (German) Opa; i had filled our company thesaurus with some more technical names in German English and french