Search is a very important aspect of any Service Portal, and as such is one of the most used functions. With this in mind, we wanted to improve the search, all without losing the things that made it valuable in the first place. This is where we came up with the idea for a global search, and it’s largely been driven by requests from our community.
The new Global Search is a single feature that will incorporate aspects of 6 different feature requests, with a combined total of over 161 votes. When looking at it from that lens, it’s the most requested feature we’ve ever had, and you’ll be able to test it out on the Latest stream of the product today.
As such, today we will walk through what it can do for you, and how you can configure it to maximize the benefits for you.
With the new Advanced Global Search, our target is to modernize the primary search at the top of the screen and make it a single search for all required searches.
In the end, this will include any managed type out of Service Manager, plus our HTML KB Articles. This will allow the user to search based on names and content, rather than working about the type in most cases. Eventually, we will also include more advanced filters and saved searches to make the entire process more intuitive.
Configuration requires 3 primary steps:
- Enable the feature (while in preview)
- Add the managed types to the dynamic data cache that you want to search
- Enable the types and properties to search in the global search settings
First, we need to enable Global Search functionality: Admin Settings > Features page.
Then, we need to confirm that we’ve added the objects that we will want to display in the search, into the Dynamic Data filters table. As these are contains filters, we can enter just the first part of the managed objects tables that we want to include. An example would be MT_System$WorkItem$ and this would include all work item types.
Note: Adding the objects to be cached here does NOT automatically include them in Global Search, as it only makes them available within the Global Search Settings for selection.
Look and Feel
Next, we need to configure the Global Search Settings themselves, but before we do that let’s take a second to understand what a search result will look like once it’s been configured. Below is an example search result, with each of the available field types highlighted:
- Title: The result can be hyperlinked and is handled by the portal by identifying the item type and utilizing the appropriate form type.
- Body: This is where you will want to place the most detailed property that you want to display, as it will show a greater amount of text than any other property.
- Icon: You can define the icon displayed for each class type.
- Data: The data property is where you’d play short informational values. For example, tier, status, or IR#.
- Hidden: The purpose of hiding property in the configuration is to index the value of the property for searching. It can be used to find what you are looking for, but without displaying it in the result.
Now that we understand what we can display, we need to understand how we can display it. In the Global Search Settings page, you can enable the classes that you want to be able to search. You can also rename the class to make it more readable if desired.
Once the class is enabled for search, we have to select one or more properties to be searched and displayed. For each property that we select, the value will be indexed, and we can determine where in the result the value will be displayed.
After finishing the class and search configuration, we should immediately be able to search for results.
Additionally, we can configure how the various classes are displayed to provide friendly names for each class chosen.
Once you’ve set this value, it can also be localized by added translations in the localization table for the new key/value that was created. Once you’ve made the changes, you can easily see which ones you’ve edited.
You can do the same with the various properties for each class as well.
Finally, we can set the icon for each class:
After we’ve configured each of the properties and placed the proper naming for the class you want to search, we are ready to search and see our results.
Now that the global search is enabled and configured, we should see the new singular search box at the top of the screen. We can then select it and type for results.
Results will be displayed as you type. Further, you can filter the results by class by selecting the filter icon in the upper left of the results popup.
Once you find what you are looking for, you can select it to view its form and get to work!