Barely yesterday the announcement has reached us at is it with great pleasure I relay the same here too (original announcement available @ http://blogs.office.com/b/office365tech/archive/2013/10/29/search-innovations-for-site-and-portal-design-in-sharepoint-online.aspx)
Two (2) new great features have been made available on SharePoint Online, opening up the door for powerful content aggregation scenarios as well as search-driven applications :
– Content Search Web Part (CSWP) – relying on Enterprise search features, this is the greatest web part (IMHO) so far made available in SharePoint, enabling the mix of powerful configuration directly via the settings, while enabling those with more deeper know-how to fine-tune the way results are retrieved with advanced query conditions. Even more, this web part also relies on rendering display templates – delivering maximum flexibility and control into how your search results will be displayed.
– Cross-Site Collection Publishing – a new method of content publishing across site collection enabling the benefit of having one or more authoring site collections and as well one or more publishing site collections – promoting a clear and more flexible separation of concerns with regards to locations and places where people could work on content rather than worrying about how that would be exposed to the rest of SharePoint site, users, etc. In addition to that, pretty much any list now can be “promoted” to enable its content to be included as part of the catalog content, not just Pages libraries.
Few limitations are in place though:
– Only available for X3-X4 plans (E3, E4, A3, A4, G3, G4) plans
– Can only be used in Intranet & Extranet scenarios – but NOT for Internet portal – as it only supports authenticated access, but not Anonymous
– Refiners for Faceted Navigation also available only on-premises.
– Product Catalog site template is only available in SharePoint 2013 on-premises (at least for now – i have a feeling it shall become sooner or later also available for SharePoint online)