Cannot seem to access Calculated column in Display Template via Managed Property mapping

Here is my situation:

I have a test/development site on SharePoint Online/Office 365 called TestSite3, and within that site a sub-site called TestBlog3 (a Blog site for making Posts).

I want to use a Content Search Web Part on the homepage to query all Post items from the blog, and then sort them by a custom event date value, but then if event date is not specified (it will be optional), use the post’s created date.

I have also made a custom Display Template in which I have the following managed property mappings:

<mso:ManagedPropertyMapping msdt:dt="string">'Picture URL'{Picture URL}:'PublishingImage;PictureURL;PictureThumbnailURL','Link URL'{Link URL}:'Path','Line 1'{Line 1}:'Title','Line 2'{Line 2}:'LastModifiedTime','Line 3'{Line 3}:'BodyOWSMTXT','Line 4'{Line 4}:'RefinableDate03','SecondaryFileExtension','ContentTypeId','IsAllDayEvent'</mso:ManagedPropertyMapping> 

In the Post content type, I have added two custom columns:

  • ZTest3Date: a Date column that is optional to the user to specify, supposed to function as an ‘event date’ for posts about events coming up
  • ZTest3Calculated: a Calculated column returning a Date. What I want is for it to return the event date (ZTest3Date) if it is set, otherwise return the post’s created date (Created).

Here is the formula I have in ZTest3Calculated: =IF(ISBLANK(ZTest3Date),Created,ZTest3Date)

I have seen formulas use brackets [] around the column names, but when I try saving the formula with that it automatically removes them, leaving the above.

I go into the site’s search schema to look at the Managed and Crawled Properties. I use ‘z’ in the search box to filter them down. The ZTest3Date column I made shows up in Managed Properties as ZTest3DateOWSDATE. There is no Managed Property for the ZTest3Calculated column.

In Crawled Properties, I see ows_ZTest3Calculated, ows_ZTest3Date, and ows_q_DATE_ZTest3Date.

I can put ZTest3DateOWSDATE into my Display Template in Line 4 and it works, but that’s only half my solution; I want to handle when there is no event date set.

Since ZTest3Calculated is not available as a managed property, I understand that it is recommended to map the crawled property to one of the pre-set columns SharePoint provides, so I mapped ows_ZTest3Calculated to RefinableDate03.

I have re-indexed the Post list and waited a while, but it does not seem to be working; I have also tried assigning an alias to RefinableDate03 and updating the Display Template, still no luck. When I debug the JavaScript code I put in my display template file to read what is coming into Line 4, it is blank always, whether or not the event date is set. So either the RefinableDate03 mapping isn’t working, or my ZTest3Calculated column isn’t working. Or something else I’m not aware of.

Sorry this is so long, but I feel like supplying the context and my setup is important. I have driven myself crazy with this over the past few days, and would appreciate if someone might have some knowledge of what I’m missing.

I appreciate any help, and thank you for reading all this!